How can I stop people from sharing my public profile on Facebook?

Sometimes, we will be worries about our information when facebook friends keep more attention on some FB games or fun quizzes. I often ask myself, maybe the games company collects all our public information and that makes me feel uncomfortable.

How can I prevent my Facebook friend to share my public information with the game agents that they playing on Facebook?

Security audits are an annoying but necessary part of online life. Hacks big and small have compromised the data of countless internet users, so it’s up to you to make sure social networks and apps aren’t scraping more data than they should.

How to protecting my Facebook information ?

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At your first login to Facebook sometime on or after April 19, 2018, you’ll see this new greeting. It’s Facebook’s way of saying “yeah, we got in trouble, now we’re going to pointedly tell you that you can make adjustments to your privacy settings so we don’t get in trouble again.”

This is all about getting you to opt-out of using Facebook logins and sharing with other apps and websites; it’s not about Facebook taking care of the problem, then letting you opt back in to share only what you want. But you can force that issue with some of the steps below.

Visit Apps and Websites Settings: Active Tab

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The link on your News Feed takes you to the Apps and Websites section of Facebook’s settings, which used to be called only Apps. You can also get there directly by clicking App Settings, or navigate to Settings > Apps and Websites. On a smartphone, go to the hamburger menu () and under Settings, select Apps > Logged in with Facebook.

The initial tab on the Apps and Websites page is called Active, because it shows all the “most recent” (ahem) sites and apps you’ve logged into using Facebook. (Recent is a misnomer—I saw listings on my page for sites and apps that have been dead for a few months.) Click the checkbox next to any entry you don’t actively recognize, then hit the Remove button to nix them.

What Were You Sharing?

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If you’re curious about what you’re sharing with a specific app or website, click the View and edit link for each entry.

A pop-up window will display the information each app is accessing; here, you can change those settings if you’d like to keep it installed but restrict the information to which it has access—tell apps you don’t want to share your Friends list, timeline posts, status updates, events, etc.

Facebook has removed the option to just prevent sharing those things across the board—they have to be done app by app and site by site.

What Happens When You Remove Apps Sites

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When you do remove an app or website you’d logged into via Facebook, you’ll get this warning. Doing so may delete your account at the third-party site, and/or any and all activity on the site, even if the account stays intact. You can click an extra box to also kill off any posts, videos, or photos the apps/site posted on Facebook for you.

Removal Confirmation

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Once you’ve finished, you’ll get this weasel-y confirmation screen that makes it look like it may take a while for all the info and connections to be destroyed. (You know, how like it takes a while to get a refund to your credit card, even though it’s always instantaneous when you spend money.)

Check the Expired Tab

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This is for apps and websites you logged into once upon a time with Facebook, but the login has since expired. Each shows the last date and time they were accessed using Facebook credentials. Like in the Active tab, you can click the View and Edit link for each to see what was shared.

Facebook annoyingly does not have a “check all” option, so you have to click on each one individually if you want to remove them all or at least a majority. My page had well over 99 entries on it, some dating back to 2014. You’ll get the same pop-up showing what happens, and same confirmation if you go through with the removal.

Check the Removed Tab

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This last tab shows all the apps and websites you’ve removed in the past from your account. Facebook indicates on the page that you may still have access to previously shared info on those apps/sites (but you can’t make privacy changes now), and that hey, “this list may not include all apps and websites you’ve removed”! Uh… that doesn’t seem helpful.

Click the View Details link under each and you’ll get info on when you deleted it (on some entries, not all), and info like your user ID number with the service behind each app/site. If you want more info, there’s a link to the privacy policy of each, if available. A few I clicked went to 404 pages.

Nuke It: Enter the Editor

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If you want to go semi-nuclear and prevent Facebook from doing much sharing at all, here’s how: On the desktop, while on the Apps and Websites page of settings, scroll down to the box that says Apps, Websites, and Games. If it says “Turned On,” click the Edit button. A pop-up will appear…

Disable the Platform

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… where you can click the Turn Off button. By doing so, Facebook will no longer connect to any third-party sites with your Facebook data. You won’t be able to log into websites or games using Facebook (including sites that use Facebook for commenting), share with friends between apps, or do any kind of instant personalization. You’ll also get kicked out of any apps you’ve logged into using Facebook.

If you turn it off, then turn it back on, you’ll find you’ve been logged out of all the apps and websites you’d used. This is a good way to re-start with connecting to just the apps/sites you trust. (After I did so, I had 168 entries in the Removed tab!)

On mobile, tap the hamburger menu () and navigate to Settings and select Apps > Apps, Websites and Games and click Edit to Turn Off.

Game and App Notifications

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While you’re on the Apps and Websites page, look at the Game and App Notifications section. Click it to turn them off, and you’ll never see another request from friends to join their annoying games, ever. It doesn’t really spare you any shared info, but may save some friendships.

Read the Full Data Policy

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Want to see all of Facebook’s plans for your data? Well, you can’t look inside Mark Zuckerberg’s head—yet—but you can read the full Facebook Data Policy, which was also updated today.

You can ensure your Facebook privacy settings are exactly what you want them to be.

1) How to get an overview of my privacy settings?

Facebook’s privacy settings are spread over a number of portions of the site. However, you can do a quick health check by clicking the question mark icon that appears at the top of any Facebook page and selecting Privacy Checkup. This will allow you see privacy settings at a glance over three key areas of Facebook

1) Posts – As explained below, this will explain how to control your privacy settings for every post.
2) Profile – Here you can limit what personal information (work, age, contact details) is visible to whom.
3) Apps and websites – Who sees your activity within third-party apps.

These are explained in more detail in the following three sections.

2) How to control who sees my posts?

This is perhaps the key privacy concern of privacy-conscious Facebook users. No-one wants their boss spying on their weekend activities, so it’s important to be clear about everything you post.

Whenever you upload a photo, fill in a status, or check in at a location, Facebook gives you the option to customise who you wish to share it with. The four main options are:

  • Public – Anyone can see it whether they’re Facebook friends or not. If you want to be part of a public discussion that can be viewed by both friends and via Facebook search (like on Twitter), select this.
  • Friends – Only people you’re friends with can see the post. If you’re posting photos of your children or any information you’d deem personal then this is what you need to select.
  • Specific Friends − Select this if you’d like the post to be seen by some of your Facebook friends, but not the vast majority. The Custom option is basically the inverse of this, and allows you to select people you don’t want to share your post with.
  • Only You – Perhaps if you use Facebook as a repository for personal memories or a blog you can select Only You to ensure you, the account holder are the only one who sees it.

It’s important to note that Facebook remembers the setting from your last post, so if your last post was a Public rant about X-Factor, that will be the default setting next time.

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3) How to control who sees my app activity?

You’re likely to have many third-party services associated with Facebook, whether they’re news services, fitness apps, games, dating apps, other social networks, streaming services or photo-sharing apps. Most of these would have become associated with your Facebook account if you used Facebook Connect to quickly create an account on them.

You can use the aforementioned Privacy Checkup or go to Settings > Apps and websites to completely disassociate them from your account.

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4) How to hide my Facebook personal information?

Over the years, Facebook has probably collected a tonne of your personal information. Your email address, your birthday, political views, phone number, where you’ve studied, your sexual orientation, your political views, where you’re from, where you’re worked, who you’re married to and who you’re related to.

With employers now doing social media checks on potential new colleagues, you may want to shield some of this sensitive information.

Thankfully, much of this can be controlled via the Privacy Checkup mentioned above. You can alter who sees what by heading to the About section of your profile and selecting Edit under each section. Switching your privacy settings from Friends to Only Me will hide the information from your profile. In some cases you may want to remove it completely.

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5) How to hide FB posts from other people?

If you’re still friends with an ex on Facebook and don’t want to remove them, but also want to post photos of you in a new relationship without potentially aggravating your ex, you can hit Custom from the “Who should see this?” menu and tag the people you wish to hide the post from.

6) How to post something, but hide it from my FB timeline?

Maybe you have something to say and don’t want it as a permanent record on your timeline, such as a thought, a meme, or a joke in context that’s, ahem, of its time, you can achieve this by ticking the Hide From Timeline box in the post field.

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7) How to stop people sharing my photos and posts?

If you’ve shared a photo or a status on Facebook, it could be open to being re-shared by other Facebook users. That means Friends and, if you’ve tagged people,  even Friends of Friends. If the post is Public then anyone in the world can share it. There’s no way around that, other than to set the post to Only Me in the first place, which kind of defeats the point in most cases.

8) How to check what my Public profile looks like?

There’s a really easy way to see what your profile looks like to someone outside your network of Facebook friends, who may have stumbled across your profile. To do this you can head to your Profile page, click the menu button next to Activity Log and select View As. If you spot information or posts you do not want to be public, Edit the privacy settings of individual posts or go to Settings to censor them.

You can also use this tool to see what a specific Facebook friend sees.

9) How to change who can see old posts?

In the early days of Facebook many of us were quite naïve with what we shared. Thankfully, there are options in Settings to rectify some of your past privacy mistakes. You can click Privacy and Limit The Audience for Old Posts on Your Timeline. Then simply click Limit Past Posts to change any posts listed as Public or Friends of Friends. Confirm Limit Past Posts, to ensure that only Friends can see them. This can be undone at a later date but you may have to switch all of your posts back one by one so make sure you’re certain before you push that ‘limit’ button.

10) How to limit who can send me friend requests?

Tired of strangers trying to add you on Facebook? Click Settings > Privacy and head to Who can send you friend requests. You can change it from Everybody to Friends of Friends but that’s about as far as you can go, so if you’re trying to avoid accepting that friend of a friend’s request, you might be out of luck.

11) How to block someone?

This one’s easy (and fun). Go to Settings > Blocking, begin typing the name or email address of the friend (or ex-friend) you wish to block from your account. You can also block certain people from sending you messages, but you have to be friends with them.

It’s also possible to block people people you’re not friends with by heading to their profile, clicking the “…” on the right hand side and selecting Block.

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12) How to limit who can look me up through contact information?

Facebook probably has your phone number and one or more of your email addresses at this point. If folks (i.e. potential employers, old flames, stalkers, etc.) were to enter these in search, they may be able to discover your profile. In Settings > Privacy you can correct this by clicking Who can look you up using the email address you provided and selecting Everyone, Friends of Friends or Friends. The same process applies if you’re trying to keep your phone number private.

13) How to my Facebook page kept off Google?

There’s no hiding from Facebook’s overarching Search engine. All you can do is lock down your privacy settings and hope you have a common name. However it’s different in the case of other search engines like Google. Open Settings > Privacy and select No to keep your name off of Google’s radar.

14) How to hide my real name?

The right to anonymity was and, in some cases, still is one of the most cherished tenets of the internet. With Facebook now showing all profiles within search results, changing to an assumed name seems a good idea for those who don’t want to be discovered, have been harassed, work in sensitive industries, have been discriminated about, etc…

Unfortunately, it’s not that easy. Facebook makes you use your birth name when signing up and has very strict rules about changing it thereafter. If you’re reported for a fake name it could suspend your account. The company has softened its stance following feedback from victims of abuse and the LGBTQ community.

While you can’t hide your name, if you’d like to request a name change, you can visit Settings, click General > Name and then Review Change.

15) How to protect my location?

Facebook loves it when you check into places. It gobbles up all of that lovely data to attract advertisers and display location-specific ads on your homepage. The most obvious step to protecting your location is not clicking the location pin when posting.

However, when you’re using the mobile app, Facebook may try to use GPS and Wi-Fi to name your location. You can prevent this from happening by entering the Location settings on your mobile device and denying Facebook access.

In iOS it goes: Settings > Privacy > Location > Facebook > Never

Or for Android devices: Settings > Applications > Facebook > Location and toggle Location Services off.

16) How to prevent/remove a tag?

If you’ve had Facebook for a few years, your friends have probably tagged you in some pretty embarrassing pics. Developed social media etiquette and a full knowledge of the consequences mean that it might not happen as much these days. If you’re looking to get rid of those awkward memories before a potential employer gets there first, help is at hand.

In Settings > Timeline and Tagging you can change the options to under Review to check over every tag before it appears on yours or anyone else’s timeline.

You can always select Remove Tag within individual post settings. If the post is offensive, you can also Report Post if you want it off the site altogether.

17) How to make my profile completely private?

Until October 2015, it was possible to hide your Facebook account and prevent it from popping up when someone searches your name. However, this stopped being an option after the company broadened its Universal Search through the Knowledge Graph initiative.

Now, even if your privacy settings are completely locked down you’ll appear within search results meaning that there is a certain level of info that anyone can pick up if they click on your profile. This includes your profile picture, your list of friends and the pages you’ve liked. No way around it, sadly.

18) How to tag friends but limit who sees the posts?

When you tag people in posts and photos, the number of people who see it can take on a life of its own. The friend must approve the post to their timeline but, if they do, all of their friends will be able to see it too. For example, if you tagging a friend in a photo of your child, you’re effectively expressing consent that those outside of your friendship circle can view it, react to it, share it and even comment on the photo too.

So, in other words, if you’re concerned about who might view the photo, tagging friends is best avoided.


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