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10 at 10: Privacy Settings to Celebrate Facebook's Birthday

By William Peacock, Esq. | Last updated on

Ten years.

Ten years of embarrassing photos, dirty jokes, drunk status updates, and other mistakes. On Facebook's Tenth Anniversary, we'd like to remind you that Facebook, even with its ongoing mission to make everything about everyone public, has a whole bunch of privacy settings that will prevent past mistakes from resurfacing.

And since ten is the magic number, here is our big list of the ten settings you should know about:

10. Use the "View As" Tool To Asses Your Current Settings

Want to see what the public sees? How about what Aunt Mildred sees? Facebook's "View As" tool gives you an outsider's perspective on your profile, allowing you to see exactly what you're sharing with others.

9. Limit Past Posts

This is a big one. Every immature and offensive thing anyone has ever written on your wall, limited to friends only, with a few clicks. You can then go back, through the Activity Log, and unhide individual items if you wish.

8. Use Your Activity Log

Your activity log is a list of everything that you, others, and apps have shared about you on Facebook. Mine is an unending stream of shameful pop music streamed via Spotify. Yours might be even more embarrassing. Each post has a gear that you can click to adjust who can see the post.

8. Timeline Review

Everyone has "that guy" who posts inappropriate jokes, slurs, or images on their profile. Typically, it's a family member that you can't defriend without ruining the next five holidays. Timeline Review lets you approve or hide anything anyone posts on your Timeline, or tags you in, before it goes public.

7. Friend Lists

The most time consuming, yet most important setting that no one ever uses. Different friends should see different things. My brothers? They like dirty jokes. My Aunt? Not so much. Create friend lists to make limiting past and future content to the proper audience easy.

6. Create an Uptight List

Have an easily offended uncle or a nosy parent? A boss without boundaries? Create a special ultra restricted list for these people. It'll come in handy when limiting past and future content.

5. Activity Log + Friend Lists

Bring two of these tips together and use your Activity Log to its maximum potential. Hit a privacy setting gear, click "Custom," and choose "Share this with ... Friends" and "Don't share this with ... Uptight List." Voila! Your friends can enjoy that inappropriate comment, while Aunt Selma pretends that you are still a third grader who thinks the opposit sex has cooties.

4. Change Default Sharing Settings

Of course, you don't want to have to tweak settings to block the uptight relative or co-worker employer on every post, do you? Click the padlock icon in the top right corner of Facebook, then under "Who can see my stuff?," change "Who can see my future posts?" to Friends except "Uptight List."

3. Hide From Google, Bing, et al.

This should limit overeager employers and stalkers from finding you from outside of Facebook. Remove yourself from other search engines with a few clicks.

2. Hide Your Phone Number and Email Address

As one of our paranoid tips for job seekers, we advised tweaking the appropriate settings to disable searching for your account by phone number or email address, and for the truly paranoid, changing that information to non-public alternatives.

1. App Permissions

Over the years, you've probably played one of those stupid Mafia or Farm games. Or you've added a fitness or charity app. Each app requests access to certain data. Now is a good time to cull the list, and see which are requesting too much information by heading to App Settings.

Happy Anniversary Facebook.

Did we miss a big one? Tweet us @FindlawLP.

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