How to lock down your facebook account

Brian Burgess
How to lock down your facebook accountBrian Burgess
Writer

Facebook definitely allows you to easily communicate with others, but if you’re not careful, certain information you would like to remain private can be exposed. Here we take a look at locking down your profile, and how to avoid other annoyances.

Privatize Your Profile

Facebook is a great way to keep in touch with friends, family and other contacts online. It’s also a great place to spread personal information, pictures, and other data to everyone if you don’t use the proper settings. The first thing you want to do is change default settings under the Privacy Settings.

How to lock down your facebook account

Take the time to go through each of the privacy sections and make the appropriate choices for your profile.

How to lock down your facebook account

Go through each section to adjust who can see your information. Of course showing it to everyone will be the least private.

How to lock down your facebook account

Make sure to go through the settings for both Basic and Contact information.

How to lock down your facebook account

If you choose a custom setting you can select who sees it and even block out specific users (like your crazy ex).

How to lock down your facebook account

Control what information is on your wall, and what posts to your friend’s wall.

How to lock down your facebook account

Control what other people can see about you in searches.

How to lock down your facebook account

If there are certain users you don’t want to be able to contact you then you can put them in the block list.

How to lock down your facebook account

Avoid Quizzes and Other Snooping Apps

You might be enticed to take the multitude of quizzes and games on Facebook because you’re bored or other friends have recommended them. They can however, be aggressive data miners. So when you’re taking a quiz to find out “Who is your Celebrity Twin” the developers of those quizzes are gathering your personal data.

How to lock down your facebook account

It’s not a secret that your information is being shared through Facebook applications. If you go into the Applications overview under Privacy settings, it states how apps interact with your data. Here are a few of the items in the privacy statement.

“When you authorize an application, it will be able to access any information associated with your account that it requires to work.”

“When a friend of yours visits an application or authorizes it, the information that the application can access includes your friend’s friend list and information about the people on that list.”

“If you interact with an application that has been restricted to users of a certain age and/or country without explicitly authorizing the application, the application might be able to infer your approximate birth date or location because you were able to access the application.”

Under the Privacy section and Application Settings you can control what types of information can be seen through apps. If you don’t want anything shared select that option at the bottom.

How to lock down your facebook account

With Facebook being a central hub of social activity, you might have co-workers, supervisors, or the head boss as a contact. If you are playing games on company time, make sure you don’t get busted on Facebook. Under the same apps privacy page we were at above, scroll down a bit further and check the box under Beacon Websites. A Beacon Site where you play a game needs to be an affiliate of Facebook, but if you aren’t sure, you might want to check this box to be safe.

How to lock down your facebook account

Block Facebook Annoyingness

If you’re sick of seeing messages every time a friend takes a quiz or makes a move in Mafia Wars, make sure and check out The Geek’s article on how to Block Those irritating Facebook Quiz & Application Messages.

How to lock down your facebook accountHow to lock down your facebook account

Conclusion

Facebook can be a lot of fun and is a great place to keep in touch with others, but by default it shares a lot of information that you might want to remain private. These steps should help you out in protecting your privacy, and avoiding potentially embarrassing or awkward situations.

Facebook has updated its privacy settings to make them more easy to use. The redesigned privacy settings apply to the iOS and Android Facebook app, and the mobile web. Following the update, settings are now grouped into six broad categories: Account, Preferences, Audience and Visibility, Permissions, Your Information, and Community Standards and Legal Policies.

Whether the redesigned Facebook privacy settings are actually more simple is a matter of opinion, but it does outline the importance of checking your account and making sure it’s as locked down as possible.

One of the best updates is a shortcut for your Facebook account’s privacy checkup, allowing you to do a quick test to see how your data is being used. In tandem, an update to Facebook’s Transfer Your Information tool is great for those who might be considering deleting the social network.

How to lock down Facebook

Everyone knows how data-hungry Facebook is, and if you still want to use it, you need to make sure it’s as secure and private as possible. The first thing you can do for your security is ensure you have a strong password protecting your Facebook account, preferably using a password manager. Then you should set up two factor authentication preferably using a security key such as the YubiKey.

Now for privacy. There are settings in Facebook that allow you to ensure your account is only visible to friends, or even certain friends. It’s as simple as going through these one by one.

The most important privacy settings in Facebook, in my opinion, are related to advertising and how you are tracked as you browse the internet. Apple’s iOS 14.5 brought in a setting called App Tracking Transparency that allows you to limit Facebook tracking, but it doesn’t help you when you are using another device such as a laptop.

With over 300 million users, Facebook has become one of the popular social media platforms in the country. In addition to entertainment, the platform is helping people to grow their small businesses. Now, when it comes to security options, it also provides plenty of features including profile lock, keeping location data private, and much more.

How to lock down your facebook account

One of the helpful features of Facebook is the profile lock feature which has a lot of advantages. So, if you are searching for how to lock your Facebook profile, then here’s how you do it.

What Is Facebook Profile Lock Feature?

With the Facebook profile lock feature, you can lock your account and profile photos. With activated this feature, your personal information will be protected and won’t be visible to anyone who is not in your friend lists. Besides, they cannot see your post or full-size profile photo and download profile photos or any posts. Even, if they are not in your friend lists, cannot visit your timeline.

Facebook Profile Lock Feature: Advantages

With this feature, a non-friend user cannot steal your personal data and profile photos. Many of us keep contact details of our Facebook account such as phone number and email address, which can be under security.

Facebook Profile Lock: How To lock Facebook Profile Via Smartphone

Step 1: First, go to your Facebook app and tap on your profile.

Step 2: Then click on the three-dot icon next to the ‘Edit Profile’ option.

Step 3: Now, you can see a Lock Profile option and tap on it.

Step 4: After that, the next page will show you all are advantages of the Facebook profile lock feature.

Step 5: Finally, click on the ‘Lock Your Profile’ option to lock your account.

Moreover, you can also unlock your Facebook account at any time. To unlock your account, you need to follow the same procedure. In place of the lock option, you will find the unlock option and click on it. It is also important to note, you cannot lock your account via the iOS device. So, you have to lock your account using an Android device.

Online privacy, particularly on a social network, is tricky. You want to share with friends, but you don’t want to open yourself up to the world. And you do hope to maintain some level of protection from identity thieves and hackers. But even Mark Zuckerberg isn’t immune to those with malicious intent. However, there are a few tweaks you can, and should, do to protect your privacy on the enormous social network. Just follow these step-by-step directions to protect yourself.

1. Click the down arrow on the far right at the top of the page.

2. Click Settings from the drop-down menu.

3. Click Security from the menu on the left. Make sure Secure Browsing is enabled.

4. Click Privacy from the menu on the left.

5. Click Edit next to “Who can see your future posts?” and set to Friends. This will limit who can see what you post from now on. You can also change this from within your status update. Facebook will then remember that setting for all future posts.

6. Click Limit Past Posts next to “Limit the audience for posts you’ve shared with friends of friends or public?” This allows you to retroactively change the permissions on your posts. Click Limit Past Posts.

7. Click Edit next to “Who can look you up using the email address or phone number you provided” and “Who can look up your timeline by name.” Select the setting you want from the drop-down menu. We recommend limiting to Friends or Friends of Friends, rather than Everyone. By doing so you automatically turn off the ability to be found and indexed by search engines such as Google.

8. Click Use Activity Log next to “Review all your posts and things you’re tagged in” to look at every piece of content to do with you on Facebook one post at a time. Since you already limited past posts and future posts, this may not be necessary. But should you wish to to change something you can set who can see specific posts and if those post can appear on your timeline. This includes your status updates, comments you’ve made on other people’s status updates, things you’ve liked, apps you’ve used, photo’s you’re tagged in; basically everything Facebook and you.

9. Go back. Then click Timeline and Tagging from the menu on the left.

10. Click Edit next to “Who can see posts you’ve been tagged in on your timeline”. Select Friends, or even Only Me if you really want to lock things down.

11. Click Edit next to ” Who can see what others post on your timeline.” Select Friends or even Only Me.

12. Click Edit next to “Who sees tag suggestions when photos that look like you are uploaded?” Set the drop down menu to No One to prevent Facebook from auto suggesting you be tagged in photos.

13. Check your work by clicking View As next to “Review what other people see on your timeline.”

How to lock down your facebook account

You probably spend more time than you care to admit on Facebook, but I’ll bet you spend hardly any of it nosing around Facebook’s settings. In there, you’ll find five very important settings that give you extra layers of security.

1. Use Login Alerts

If someone uses your Facebook ID and password to log in to your account without your permission, wouldn’t you like to know? When Login Alerts is turned on, you will be immediately notified if someone tries to log in to your account from a new place.

To turn on these alerts, log in to Facebook and open your Settings menu. Click on Security, Login Alerts, and Edit. Select Get notifications and Email login alerts, then save your changes.

Should you ever receive an alert from Facebook that someone has logged in to your account from an unrecognized location, it’s critical that you follow the instructions provided. The email will outline steps you should take to reset your password and secure your information.

But one thing you don’t want is to get an alert each time you log in through a device you use regularly. Luckily, you can create a list of trusted devices.

The first time you log in from a new location, on a new browser or with a new device, you’ll be asked if you want Facebook to remember it. Click Save Browser and Facebook won’t notify you of logins from that particular location, browser or device again. Be sure to never do this on a public or work computer.

2. Request Login Approvals

Facebook also tracks how you log in to your account. With a few steps, Facebook will monitor if someone is accessing your Facebook account from a previously unused device or browser. When this happens, a separate verification code will be needed to complete the login process.

To set up these approvals, select Login Approvals in Facebook’s Security Settings, then click the box that says, “Require a security code to access my account from unknown browsers.” Follow the prompts to receive a security code, and re-enter your password.

Once you’ve confirmed that you’re making this request, a box will pop up that says: “Whenever a login is attempted from an unknown browser, we’ll now ask for a security code. For the first week, in case you don’t have your phone, you can turn off Login Approvals without a security code.”

Click, “No thanks, require a code right away.”

3. Keep extra codes on hand

If you turned on Login Approvals, you’ll be asked to enter a security code whenever you log in from a new location. This code can be sent via text or retrieved from the Code Generator section of your Facebook app settings menu.

But if you don’t have access to your phone or tablet, you’ll still need a code to log in to your account. For this reason, Facebook will generate 10 random codes you can use.

Get these backup codes by clicking on Login Approvals within your Facebook Security Settings. Check the link that says, “Get codes to use when you don’t have your phone.”

A list of 10 codes will appear. Print them out and keep them secure.

4. See where you’re logged in and log out remotely

This could certainly save you in a pinch. If you’ve accessed your Facebook account on another computer or device and forgotten to log out, anyone could gain access to your private information. Sometimes you may not even remember that it happened, so it’s important that you review this list regularly.

From your browser, in your Facebook Security Settings, you will see, “Where you’re logged in.” Click that link for a complete list of your current logins as well as a button to log out remotely from each.

These steps are not as straightforward when using the Facebook App. To help you out, click here for a video tutorial as well as step-by-step instructions.

5. Add trusted and legacy contacts

If for some reason you don’t have access to your phone or email, and you don’t have your security codes, you could have one of your closest Facebook friends generate login codes for you. If there’s someone you truly trust, this is a good backup.

Legacy contacts are different. Although this is a downer to think about, in the event of your death you may want someone to look after your Facebook account. With the right permissions, your legacy contact could write a pinned post to your Timeline, respond to friend requests and update your profile picture and cover photo. You can even request that your account be automatically deleted.

You can make these adjustments in the Security Settings, under Trusted Contacts and Legacy Contacts.

Be extremely careful with these settings. For example, you don’t want any of your trusted or legacy contacts to end up on your list of exes.

Visit Komando.com for even more ideas to securing your Facebook profile. Or, to make Facebook work better for you, click here for five hidden Facebook tricks you need to start using.

To revist this article, visit My Profile, then View saved stories.

To revist this article, visit My Profile, then View saved stories.

Facebook deserves a lot of the flack it gets, be it for providing Russian propaganda with a platform or gradually eroding privacy norms. Still, it has some genuine usefulness. And while the single best way to keep your privacy safe on Facebook is to delete your account, taking these simple steps in the settings is the next best thing.

Remember, it's not just friends of friends you need to think about hiding from; it's an army of advertisers looking to target you not just on Facebook itself, but around the web, using Facebook's ad platform. In the video above and the post below, we'll show you how to deal with both.

Limiting who can see which of your posts is an easy first step. On a desktop, go to the little dropdown arrow in the upper-right corner, and click Settings. From there, click on Privacy on the left-hand side. This is where the magic happens.

Under Who can see my stuff, click on Who can see your future posts to manage your defaults. You can make public to anyone at all, limited to your friends, or exclude specific friends. You can quarantine your posts by geography, or by current or previous employers or schools, or by groups. Just remember that the next time you change it, the new group becomes the default. So double check every time you post.

This section has other important privacy tools you can fiddle with, including who can look you up with your email address or phone number. We'd recommend not listing either in the first place, but if you do, keep the circle as small as possible. (If you do have to share one or the other with Facebook for account purposes, you can hide them by going to your profile page, clicking Contact and Basic Info, then Edit when you mouse over the email field. From there, click on the downward arrow with two silhouettes to customize who can see it, including no one but you.)

But pay special attention to the option to (deep breath) Limit the audience for posts you’ve shared with friends of friends or public? If you ever had a public account, taking it private wasn't retroactive. If you want to hide those previously viewable posts, lock this setting down.

Over on Timeline and Tagging you can control over what shows up on your own Facebook timeline. Basically, you can’t stop your friends from tagging you (sorry!), but you can stop those embarrassing photos from popping up on your page. At the very least, you should go to Review posts you’re tagged in before the post appears on your timeline, and enable that so that you can screen any tags before they land on your page.

To test out your changes, go to Review what other people see on your timeline. You can even see how specific people view your page, like your boss or your ex or complete strangers. It also never hurts to take stock of you present yourself to the world. (Looking at you, people who haven't updated your cover photo since the Obama administration.)

How to lock down your facebook account

Facebook’s profile lock feature adds a security layer and protects your photos, stories, and posts from everyone who is not on your friend list. In short, it gives you more control and privacy from strangers.

Initially, it was launched for women’s safety on the platform; but regardless of gender, you can now use this feature to lock your Facebook profile using its app or website. Let me tell you more and show you how to do it on iPhone, iPad, and desktop.

What happens when you lock your profile on Facebook?

After you lock your profile, here is what happens;

  • Only your Facebook friends can see your photos, posts, stories, profile picture, and cover photos.
  • All your old Facebook posts that were public will automatically change to friends-only view.
  • You can’t make new posts with ‘Public view’ as its setting.
  • It will automatically enable two privacy features, namely – Timeline review and Tag review.
  • Only a limited part of the about info will be public. To be precise, ‘people who are not your Facebook friends will see a maximum of five profile details.’

Note: Currently, this feature is not available in all countries.

How do I lock my Facebook profile on iPhone using the app?

How to lock down your facebook account

  1. Open the Facebook app on your iPhone and go to your profile.
  2. Tap the three dots icon next to +Add Story.
  3. Tap Lock Profile.
  4. Read the short description that tells you what this feature is. Finally, tap Lock Your Profile.

Note: If you do not see this option, please update the Facebook app. I also noticed that if you have zero Facebook friends, you might not see this option. Finally, you may also follow the above steps on your iPhone via browsers like Safari or Chrome.

How to lock your Facebook profile on a web browser

You can use this method on both your iPhone and desktop. I have used the desktop to demo it.

  1. Go to your Facebook profile using Chrome, Safari, Firefox, or any other browser.
  2. In the URL address bar, replace www with m and hit the enter key.
    You are now in the mobile version of Facebook on your computer.How to lock down your facebook account
    How to lock down your facebook account
  3. Click the three dots next to Edit Profile.
  4. Click Lock Profile.
  5. Read the info and click Lock your profile.
    How to lock down your facebook account

What to do if locking the Facebook profile is not available for you?

As mentioned above, the feature is not available in all countries. Thus, if you can’t find this option, the feature isn’t available in your region. However, you still have multiple tools to protect your privacy.

See and tweak Facebook’s privacy settings on your iPhone by following the steps below.

How to lock down your facebook account

  1. Open the Facebook app and tap the three lines icon at the bottom right.
  2. Scroll down and tap Settings & Privacy.
  3. Tap SettingsPrivacy settings.
  4. From here, you can change them as desired.
  5. Note: In step 3, you may also tap Privacy shortcuts to see several options.

What are your thoughts on this? Let me know in the comments below.

Other related posts:

How to lock down your facebook account

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Facebook recently created a set of shortcuts to help users control their privacy settings on the platform.

The change follows reports that third parties like Cambridge Analytica were able to harvest people’s information from the platform by abusing Facebook’s APIs.

Researchers also reported that third-party tracking services used the “Login with Facebook” functionality to extract information about people.

The privacy shortcuts menu does not address the most recent issue discovered by researchers, but it does surface privacy settings that should be reviewed regularly.

The settings below in Facebook will give you maximum privacy on the platform.

Privacy Check-up

In a desktop browser, clicking the question mark in the top right corner opens the “Quick help” menu, which contains the new privacy shortcuts menu. It also houses the Privacy Check-up wizard.

Privacy Check-up takes you through three basic settings:

  1. Who can see your new posts by default. Usually this is set to public. It can be changed on a post-by-post basis.
  2. Apps you’ve logged into using Facebook. Set who can see apps you’ve used, and delete any you no longer want.
  3. Profile information visibility – who can see your phone number, email address, birth date, and home town.

How to lock down your facebook account

Privacy shortcuts

The Privacy menu also lets you set who can see your future posts, while providing links to your activity log.

Activity Log lets you review who can see or find things you have posted or been tagged in.

The privacy shortcuts also lets you set who can send you friend requests, and allows you to block a user.

Blocking unfriends a profile and prevents them from starting conversations with you, or seeing things you post on your timeline.

How to lock down your facebook account

Timeline review

Under Activity Log is a menu item called “Timeline Review”.

This lets you set whether you must manually approve posts you’re tagged in before they go on your timeline.

This only controls what’s allowed on your timeline. Posts you’re tagged in still appear in search, News Feed, and other places on Facebook.

How to lock down your facebook account

Privacy Settings and Tools

In Facebook’s main settings pane are several menus containing privacy settings.

This includes settings from the Privacy menu, as well as several other options.

Amongst other options, the Privacy Settings and Tools menu lets you:

  • Limit the audience of past posts by setting posts you shared publicly, or with friends of friends, to only be shared with friends.
  • Set who can see your friends list.
  • Set who can look you up using your email address or phone number.
  • Set whether you want search engines outside Facebook to link to your profile.

How to lock down your facebook account

Timeline and tagging

Facebook also offers granular controls over your timeline, such as:

  • Who can post on your timeline.
  • Who can see what others post on your timeline.
  • Who can see posts that you’re tagged in on your timeline.
  • Review tags that people add to your posts before the tags appear on Facebook.

How to lock down your facebook account

Face recognition

Under the Face Recognition menu, you can set whether you want Facebook to recognise you in photos and videos.

You can review photos that you’ve been detected in under the Activity Log, and choose whether you would like to be tagged in them or not.

How to lock down your facebook account

Under its Ads Settings, Facebook lets you specify which of your personal information may be used to target advertisements at you.

It also lets you allow or disallow whether people can see your interaction with an ad, or whether it may use data from partners to target you.

You can also customise your interests, advertisers you’ve interacted with, and hide ads related to alcohol, parenting, or pets. You can choose to hide ad topics for six months, a year, or forever.

Facebook has updated its privacy settings to make them more easy to use. The redesigned privacy settings apply to the iOS and Android Facebook app, and the mobile web. Following the update, settings are now grouped into six broad categories: Account, Preferences, Audience and Visibility, Permissions, Your Information, and Community Standards and Legal Policies.

Whether the redesigned Facebook privacy settings are actually more simple is a matter of opinion, but it does outline the importance of checking your account and making sure it’s as locked down as possible.

One of the best updates is a shortcut for your Facebook account’s privacy checkup, allowing you to do a quick test to see how your data is being used. In tandem, an update to Facebook’s Transfer Your Information tool is great for those who might be considering deleting the social network.

How to lock down Facebook

Everyone knows how data-hungry Facebook is, and if you still want to use it, you need to make sure it’s as secure and private as possible. The first thing you can do for your security is ensure you have a strong password protecting your Facebook account, preferably using a password manager. Then you should set up two factor authentication preferably using a security key such as the YubiKey.

Now for privacy. There are settings in Facebook that allow you to ensure your account is only visible to friends, or even certain friends. It’s as simple as going through these one by one.

The most important privacy settings in Facebook, in my opinion, are related to advertising and how you are tracked as you browse the internet. Apple’s iOS 14.5 brought in a setting called App Tracking Transparency that allows you to limit Facebook tracking, but it doesn’t help you when you are using another device such as a laptop.

It’s widely agreed that Facebook does way too much tracking. And the social network’s entire business model is based on advertising—which makes it necessary for Facebook to collect large amounts of data.

If you care about privacy, you can turn off your Off-Facebook activity in the Your Facebook Information setting. This covers information that businesses and organisations share with Facebook about your interactions with them, such as visiting their apps or websites.

In addition, go into your Facebook account and check out your advertising profile. You can go through each setting one by one and turn it off. On your browser, it’s in Settings & Privacy under Ad Settings, or you can go via the Privacy Checkup. Locking these down won’t stop your receiving adverts on Facebook—they will instead become less relevant–but it’ll certainly make your experience less creepy.