Are You Sharing with More People than You Realize on Facebook?

by Sr. Susan Wolf, SND on June 26, 2012

in social media

Occasionally, I see posts on my News Feed that I am quite sure were not meant for me. They are individual conversations between two people or photos being shared among a group of friends. However, the person posting the message does not realize that the post is going either to Everyone or Friends of Friends as well.

Facebook Profiles are for us as individuals. People “Friend” us. We can accept them or not. Also, we can control who can see what we are sharing on our Timeline, but we need to set those controls ourselves.

There are many ways to address privacy on Facebook. The primary way is to visit the Privacy Settings page on your account (Click the down arrow next to Home in the right hand corner of the navigation bar and click on Privacy Settings.) This will take you to the Privacy Settings page. There are seven categories of privacy settings. Review each one and select the option that is best for you. I have chosen to make my posts for my Friends only. Notices of any apps I use are for me only and I want to review any photo that I am “tagged” in. You should review your choices from time to time. You can change them at anytime.

Use Messages not Posts for Private Conversations

If you want to send a personal message to a friend, “Message” them instead of posting to your status line or commenting on one of their posts. Otherwise, everyone who sees your posts will see this one as well.  Messages are a private exchange. Your friend’s messaged response to you will also be private. There are different ways to do this. Click on Messages in your left sidebar and then select the person you want to communicate with. Or go to your friend’s profile and click the Message button under their Cover photo. Type in your message and click send. They will be notified of the message.

You can Determine Who Will See Each Post

In the general Privacy Settings, you determine who will see your posts. But you can also select who will see a specific post before you publish it by clicking on the down arrow to the left of the word Post. A list of your options will appear. Select the one you want.

View Your Timeline as Someone Else

If you are concerned about which of your posts others are seeing, you can view your timeline as someone else by clicking the cog icon under your Cover photo; then select “View as…”

The insert below will appear above your Cover photo. You are seeing the page as the public sees it. If you enter a friend’s name in the box at the lower left, you will see how your timeline appears to that person.



Pay Attention to Tagging

You can tag people and Pages in status updates, photos, notes, and check-ins at various places. You can select the people or groups you want to see this or it will follow whatever you selected on the general privacy settings I mentioned above.

Others can tag you as well and when they do, the tag becomes information shared with others and links back to your Timeline. In the general Privacy Settings in the Timeline and Tagging section you can control who may tag you and who can see those tags.

Facebook is a great tool. We just want to be mindful when using it. If you have additional suggestions regarding Privacy on Facebook, please give them below. Thank you.


No post next week. Happy 4th of July!


{ 1 comment… read it below or add one }

Sr. Lois July 9, 2012 at 7:24 pm

FINALLY I just looked at your blogs, thanks so much, Susan –because for so long I’ve wanted to share my experiences in ministry and think I should DO something about that!

Leave a Comment

{ 1 trackback }