If a picture’s worth a thousand words, then Facebook is an encyclopedia about all of us. You never know when a Facebook photo of you will come back to haunt you in a job search, a first date, a college application, or just embarrass you. Lock down your photos and limit your risks with these 8 tips.
To start, log into Facebook, click on the gear icon in the upper-right of the screen, and click on “Privacy Settings.” On the privacy settings page, click “Timeline and Tagging” on the left. You’ll need to change several settings here, so let’s start from the top:
1. “Who can post on your timeline?” (Lets you control who can post things on your Facebook page so you don’t have strangers posting spam or other unwanted stuff.) Edit and change to “friends,” “only me,” or make a custom list of people you trust.
2. “Review posts friends tag you in before they appear on your timeline?” (Lets you click to approve or disprove any mentions of you before they show up on your timeline, which is great protection.) Click “edit” and turn the feature on.
3. “Who can see posts you’ve been tagged in on your timeline?” (Further limits the audience that can see posts where you’re tagged.) Click “edit” and change to “friends” or make a custom list of people.
4. “Who can see what others post on your timeline?” (Limits who can see what other people post on your timeline.) Click “edit” and change to “friends” or make a custom list of people.
5. “Review tags people add to your own posts before the tags appear on Facebook?” (Lets you check over and approve or disprove other people’s posts where they mention you.) Click “edit” and turn the feature on.
6. “When you’re tagged in a post, who do you want to add to the audience if they aren’t already in it?” (Keeps people from sharing posts where you’re tagged way beyond the original people who could see it.) Click “edit” and change to “only me.”
7. “Who sees tag suggestions when photos that look like you are uploaded?” (This is Facebook’s facial recognition. Turn it off unless you want Facebook suggesting that it’s your face in uploaded photos.) Click “edit” and change to “no one.”
8. Disable geotagging in your mobile phone’s photos. Many smartphones will automatically include the longitude and latitude where a photo was taken in that picture’s metadata, making it easy to pinpoint your location. If you then upload these pictures to Facebook, they preserve that location data when anyone downloads them.
To disable geotagging on an iPhone, go to Settings>Privacy>Location Services>Camera>Off.
On an Android, open the Camera app, then hit the gear icon to open settings, scroll down to GPS tag, and make sure it’s turned off.
Follow these tips and you’ll be in much better control over your Facebook photo privacy!