Have You Checked Your Facebook Privacy Settings Lately?

If you’re not checking your FB privacy settings regularly, you should be. And I have the prime example of why: Any Facebook personal profile status update you post as Public (as opposed to posting to just Friends or another list or custom setting) has always been searchable outside of Facebook.

You can turn that feature off by following these steps:

  1. Click on the lock icon in the top right of your FB page.
  2. Click More Settings at the bottom of the menu.
  3. Make sure you’re looking at Privacy on the new page that shows up.
  4. Under Who Can Look Me Up, make sure you have ‘Do you want other search engines to link to your timeline’ turned OFF.

Facebook Privacy SettingsWhen you click the edit button you see this explanation:

  • When this setting is on, it is easier for other search engines to link to your timeline in search results.
  • If you turn off this setting, it may take a while for search engines to stop showing the link to your timeline in their results.

Personal Profile in Search Engines

 While you’re in your Facebook privacy settings, why not go ahead and check everything else to make sure it’s set the way you want it? It’s just take a few minutes and it’s so important.

26 Responses

  1. Shekhar February 10, 2013 / 2:43 pm

    Never Liked Facebook Privacy Settings, nor the new one. It is all clumsy and invisible.

  2. Rehmat February 11, 2013 / 8:33 am

    Good info for Facebook lovers but not for me as I don’t visit Facebook much. I am among FB haters 🙂

  3. Vivek Krishnan February 11, 2013 / 8:44 am

    It is one of the most confusing settings I have ever used. Even after Facebook rolled out changes to make it easier for users to understand – it really hasn’t helped much. Thanks for this post anyway!

  4. Nicole February 15, 2013 / 6:19 pm

    Do they notify users when they make changes? I always read in the paper about legal conflicts involving FB’s privacy policy, but does the end user ever come out on top?

    • Melanie February 16, 2013 / 12:14 pm


      Unfortunately, no, Facebook does not always notify users when they update their privacy settings. It’s a good idea to check them periodically and be sure nothing has changed.

    • Chris February 20, 2013 / 12:35 pm

      I find this completely ludicrous. I wish there was some sort of tool that notified you when privacy options were changed.

    • Stan @ Chicago Paper Shredding February 21, 2013 / 4:36 pm

      Facebook’s privacy notifications are horrible. They always change things and never tell anyone. Its amazing they havent been sued out of business yet.

  5. Dusan February 15, 2013 / 10:28 pm

    They make it confusing on purpose, after the IPO failure their trying to recoup their money in any way possible

  6. Eddie Gear February 17, 2013 / 12:41 am

    Thanks for letting your readers know that there has been a change. Its been a while since I logged in and checked the privacy settings on Facebook. Will check it out now. Thanks.

  7. York Graphic Designers February 17, 2013 / 4:49 pm

    I just don’t trust Facebook at all. They have such a monopoly and seem to sneak in changes without notification.

    • Ariane February 23, 2013 / 1:00 pm

      I agree. At the end of the day they know people will stick by them, and that’s the problem with one company having the entire pie. I think that in the coming years Google+ will take a piece of that pie; it’s not necessarily better but at least the pie will be split up – competition is always best for the consumer.

  8. Nidhan February 19, 2013 / 3:06 am

    Facebook is frequently making changes day in day out in its working patterns. This is really a very helpful guide about privacy . I was unknown about this. Thanks for your guide.

  9. Elliot February 19, 2013 / 10:41 am

    I’ve been told that at one point there was a glitch in Facebook that allowed users to see private messages on users’ walls. Not sure if this is true but definitely adds to privacy concerns…

    • Abby February 22, 2013 / 3:08 pm

      This happened to some friends of mine. I imagine that this bug ended up being very unfortunate for some users.

    • Jayson March 4, 2013 / 8:13 pm

      I can confirm this. I would bet that this was only a bug but when handling personal information of hundreds of millions of users a small glitch can spell big disaster.

  10. Movement Educator February 19, 2013 / 11:29 am

    From the very beginning I have made sure to regularly check my Facebook security settings. At one point you could block all apps from accessing your information, now you have to manually add each app. Facebook makes it very hard to stop others from accessing your personal information. I would stop using Facebook if something else more respectful of privacy came up. I did have hopes for Diaspora, but it looks like it did not take off as a viable alternative.

    • Isabella February 22, 2013 / 12:59 pm

      There definitely are alternatives, depending on what it is you’re using Facebook for. LinkedIn and Google+ are great for business. Unfortunately, if you’re unhappy with Facebook you’re right that it probably won’t be recommended to delete it in the foreseeable future.

  11. Ian February 20, 2013 / 3:40 pm

    I don’t really care about the public seeing my status updates – it’s more about the principle. Facebook should advise its users of all changes to privacy settings, period.

  12. Leanne King February 24, 2013 / 3:10 am

    Facebook & Privacy = 🙁 users. Hopefully, one day FB will find a simple way to let their users know the privacy changes and maybe even let users comment on features that they would like to see.

    • Oliver March 2, 2013 / 10:27 pm

      I wouldn’t be too optimistic. Facebook doesn’t make the majority of it’s money by making its users happy…let’s just hope that more competition in the social media domain will happen in the next few years. More competition is always better for the consumers.

    • Anne March 3, 2013 / 2:25 pm

      “the majority of its money”? Facebook doesn’t care whatsoever about its users.

  13. Lily February 28, 2013 / 9:53 am

    linklden confuses me sometimes…but this is a really helpful post. Thank you for sharing this.

  14. Bryan Clark March 5, 2013 / 9:46 pm

    The privacy settings in Facebook change way too often for my liking.

  15. Delhi Daredevils March 8, 2013 / 1:51 pm

    Facebook is one of the cheater with their users by stoling importatnt privacy information from their users online.

  16. IPL 6 Opening Ceremony March 8, 2013 / 1:52 pm

    Facebook is world’s largest social networking website and people were not expecting this types of behave from them. So, we need to protest this types of privacy rule break against them.

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