I’m sure you’re very careful about what photos, status updates and articles you put on your Facebook timeline. After all, you don’t want to embarrass yourself in front of your friends, family and coworkers now or in the future long after you’ve forgotten what you posted in a moment of excitement.
Unfortunately, not everyone in your life might be quite so considerate. That’s a problem when any of your friends can post something to your timeline.
It might be a photo that doesn’t show you in the best light (literally or figuratively); a cartoon they know you’ll find funny but others might find offensive; an article that you don’t agree with; a story you don’t want everyone to know; or a number of other things. I’ve seen it happen to others and it has even happened to me.
Fortunately, you can put a complete stop to it with a simple change in Facebook’s settings. I’ll also tell you how to tweak your settings if you don’t want to turn off this feature entirely, but still want control.
Your best option is to stop anyone from posting to your timeline. To do this, open your Facebook page and, in the upper right corner of the page, click the upside down triangle and select Settings.
In the left column select “Timeline and Tagging.” In the right column, next to “Who can add things to my timeline?” look for “Who can post on your timeline?” and click the “Edit” link to the right.
Change the setting from “Friends” to “Only Me.” Now you’re the only one who can post. Simple!
Of course, maybe you don’t mind most of your friends posting, you just want to limit who sees it. You can do that too.
In the “Timeline and Tagging” screen, look under “Who can see things on my timeline?” Click the “Edit” link next to “Who can see what others post on your timeline?”
By default, this should be set to Friends, but you can switch it to Everyone, Friends of Friends, Only Me or Custom. If you select Custom, you can choose who should see these posts and who shouldn’t.
You can set individual people, or choose lists of people. For example, you can choose to let the list of “Close Friends” see what other people post while “Co-Workers” can’t. Click here to learn how to create and edit Facebook lists.
Of course, if you do this you’ll want to make sure the settings are actually working. On the “Timeline and Tagging screen,” in the “Who can see things on my timeline?” section, you’ll find “Review what other people see on your timeline.”
Click the “View As” link to the right, and you can see what your Facebook timeline looks like to certain people. So, you can select that coworker or relative who likes to gossip and make sure they can’t see anything gossip-worthy.
The “View As” feature also lets you look at your profile as if you are a stranger. This is a good way to find out what exactly a member of the general public can see if they’re looking at your Facebook page. You might be surprised at what isn’t as hidden as you think.
If you find you need even more options for locking down your Facebook privacy, click here for my step-by-step guide.
On the Kim Komando Show, the nation’s largest weekend radio talk show, Kim takes calls and dispenses advice on today’s digital lifestyle, from smartphones and tablets to online privacy and data hacks. For her daily tips, free newsletters and more, visit her website at Komando.com. Kim also posts breaking tech news 24/7 at News.Komando.com.