Social Media Moment: Hiding Your Friends on Facebook

We have talked before about the importance of not sharing everything on your Facebook page. What tends to be the most common mistake in social media (regardless of the platform) is sharing too much or simply sharing with the wrong people. So it’s always good to take precautions.

Did you know, though, that you could be sharing without realizing? This unknown, and sometimes unwanted swapping of data is due to the default settings of your Facebook account. Once you have signed up, created your online identity, and logged on, Facebook already has you sharing more than just your favorite photos and current check-in’s. It’s also sharing those people in your network.

Why is this important to control?

You may want to be open and public with your own opinions, but there is the matter of friends you may want to keep hidden from the same public eye. You may not want to openly share with the world the people that populate your network. With your Friends list complete open to the public, anyone — anyone — can go through your Friends gallery, click on any name, and request a connection. If you know that you have a friend that may be a touch shy and unwilling to meet new people on a whim; or if you are protective of your network and wish to only share its membership with people you really know, protecting your Friends on Facebook is quite easy.

  1. Go to Facebook and log in (if you are not logged in already).
  2. Go to top-right corner of your Facebook page, there is a menu there that has your name, Find Friends, and Home. Single-click on your name. (You may also see your name under the “Facebook” logo at the top-left of your screen. You can click that, too, as that link also takes you to the right place.)
  3. You should see your “Friends” gallery to the right of your Statistics (your job, where you’re located, where you went to school, etc.). Go on and single-click your Friends gallery to enter it.
  4. At the very top of your Friends list, you will see towards the upper-right (just underneath your name) two buttons: “Edit” and “Find Friends.” Single-click the “Edit” button.

  1. A window appears that reads “Who can see your full friend list on your timeline?” and also shows (by default) a small icon of the world. Single-click the “globe” icon to reveal your options.
  2. In this drop menu of options, you can either have your Friends be:
    1. Public: This means everyone is visible to people who are friends with you and with casual people just looking at your webpage.
    2. Friends: Only your approved Friends will have access to your Friends list.
    3. Only Me: This option will make your Friends completely Private, so you and only you will be able to see your network.
    4. Custom: This takes a bit more planning but here you can make your Friends visible to the people in your network, just you, specific lists you create, or people tagged in photographs. Another option offered here is you can hide your Friends from specific people or lists in your network.
  3.  Choose your option and the “Edit” window closes automatically.

This is how you can keep your Friends and your network secure from unwanted attention. By locking down your network (the tightness of that lockdown clearly up to you), you can now protect your friends from unwanted or unwarranted contacts. At the Meso Foundation we know how serious you take your privacy, and if you are concerned about the privacy of your friends, as well, we are here to make sure when you update a status or share a photo, you do so safely and securely.

That addiction to Farmville, however…no, we can’t help you there. Sorry.

For more information on available resources and online communities, visit our website at http://www.curemeso.org.

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