Facebook How to keep your privacy and still be social!

By Ayse Stenabaugh

It can be difficult to use social media without putting all your business out there but it doesn’t have to be! Facebook has lots of ways to limit the audience so only who you want to see your posts can see it. If you have a Facebook friend that you don’t want to remove but don’t want to see their posts, there’s a way to do that also. Read below to find out more so you can get control of your social media audience.

Who appears in your feed

First, let’s cover how you change what friends appear inside your Facebook news feed. You can tell Facebook to show certain friends’ posts first in your newsfeed or not to show them at all. To make the change visit your friends Facebook page by using the search at the top of the Facebook page to enter their name. Once you select the friend you will be taken to their Facebook page. At the top of their page you will see “Friends” to indicate that you are friends with that user. To the right of the Friends option you will see “Following”. Drop this box down to choose either “see posts first” to see their Facebook posts at the top of your newsfeed or to choose “unfollow”. Don’t worry if you change your mind you can follow the same steps and choose default to go back to the standard settings.

Excluding specific users

Next let’s learn more about how Friend Lists can help you better manage your Facebook page. Friend Lists are NOT public therefore you can combine any group of friends and it will be private for you to see only. If you have a group of people that you NEVER want to see your Facebook posts but you still want to remain friends, then you can use the Friends Lists function to create a group of people. Once you create that List you can post to all friends EXCEPT that group of users. You will need to be on a computer and not a mobile device to create the lists however, once your lists are created you can select to exclude or post to any of those lists whether you are on a PC or mobile device.

To find “Friend lists” visit Facebook while logged in and look on the left side of your newsfeed. Look for the headline “Explorer”, Friend Lists will be listed in that section. If you don’t see it click on “See More…” to fully expand the list. Once you visit this page you will see that Facebook has already created some lists for you based on your profile information such as places you worked or where you went to school. At the top, you will click on “+ Create List” and then give your list a name. For example, I have one I labeled “privacy” where I keep all the people who I would rather not share my private posts with. It’s important to note that anything you label as public on Facebook will be visible to these friends and anyone who you are not friends with on Facebook. After you give your list a name you will be able to begin entering names in the members box. Facebook will search through your friends as your adding names so you will want to list your Friends as their names appear on Facebook. Once you have listed all the people you want in your list click “Create”.

Changing your page’s privacy

If you want to change who can see Facebook posts that you add you will want to change the privacy settings for the individual post. To do that when you go to post anything on Facebook beside the post button you want to drop down the box to the left of Post which usually says “Friends”.  There you can change your privacy to make your post Public, Friends only or for you only. If you click on the more options button at the bottom you will have the option to choose from the lists you created. If you want to individually select who can see your post or if you want to EXCLUDE certain people from you post you can choose to share with or exclude individual people or lists from this screen. For instance using the example above If I wanted to exclude my “privacy” list I would click more options, then in the box labeled “Don’t share with” I would enter privacy and my list would appear. Now when you go to make your post the button beside post will say “Custom”. Facebook will retain these settings on your device and the next time you go to post you will see “Custom” in the box again. If you want to change your privacy settings just click on it once again to select a different option.

Limit past posts visibility

If you’ve been posting publicly and suddenly decide that you want to limit your previous posts to be “friends only” you can do that as well. On a PC, visit Facebook and click the drop down arrow towards the top right of your Facebook page and choose settings. On the left-hand side of your screen click on “Privacy”. On a mobile device click the 3-vertical lined menu and scroll all the way to the bottom of the page until you see account settings. Choose account settings and then choose privacy.  From this screen you can choose to “limit the audience for posts you’ve shared with friends of friends or public” and then click on limit old posts to confirm.

If you are new to Facebook or need additional help to learn how to use Facebook contact Jester’s Computers for affordable one-on-one classes where we can show you hands on the in’s and outs of the Facebook features, you would like to learn. At Jester’s Computers, we provide quick and affordable service for desktops and laptops you can reach us at (717) 642-6611 or visit us on the web at www.jesterscomputers.com