How to Update Your Facebook Privacy Settings

Important Facebook Privacy Settings

Using the "sharing in Facebook" section of your Facebook privacy settings, you can choose what you share and with whom. When you select any of the security profiles on the left, Facebook shows a chart of the settings associated with that label. Facebook displays a green check mark next to the label for the profile you're currently using.

If you haven't changed any sharing settings, you'll have Facebook's default "recommended" settings. Facebook also has three other built-in security profiles: "everyone," "friends of friends" or "friends only" [source: Facebook]. To switch to a different sharing profile, select that profile on the left and click "apply these settings" below the chart.

If Facebook's built-in profiles don't provide the privacy combination you're looking for, you can create your own custom sharing settings. To create or edit these custom settings any time, click the "customize settings" link below the settings chart. When you're using custom settings, Facebook adds the "custom" label to the list of sharing profiles displayed on your privacy settings page.

When customizing your sharing settings, the "customize settings" page has 20 different categories of information to choose from. Here, you can select the privacy level Facebook should use for your profile content, posts to your wall, tagging in photos and other features. Facebook saves and applies each selection immediately.

Another option is the "preview my profile" link at the top of the "customize settings" page. This shows you what your Facebook profile looks like to everyone other than your friends. This is a handy feature to use even if you're not changing any settings.

Sometimes Facebook's "friends only" setting isn't restrictive enough, especially if you have hundreds of friends and different levels of trust regarding your private information. Next, let's look at how to refine your privacy settings with some additional Facebook features.