Part 2 – Privacy Settings, Lists, and Control!
So, you have taken the first step and created lists for all of your friends now. If you haven’t then you need to read part 1 of this article Part 1 – Creating Lists. Having lists is a great first step, but it’s only that, a first step. The next part is controlling your privacy settings based on lists. Facebook allows you to control nearly every aspect of what people can see and what they can’t see. Now they don’t get as granular as controlling individual items, but they break down information you are sharing into groups or chunks. They then allow you to control the privacy on those chunks. By using lists to allow or disallow people, you can control nearly every aspect of what a person is seeing on your Facebook page.
So, let’s delve right into what you need to do. Now… I want to warn you, that this CAN be very time consuming. HOWEVER, the great part is… once you’ve done it, you don’t have to do it again (unless you create different lists). This should be clearer once we get through using lists below.
Step 1: You need to access your privacy settings. They can be found by clicking on “Account” then selecting “Privacy Settings”:
Step 2: Now your screen may be a bit different than mine depending on how you are sharing information with Facebook right now. I already have mine setup with lists, either way; you are going to want to click on “Customize Settings”. No longer will you rely upon default settings!
Step 3: Now take a minute to look through all of the options you have here. There are a fair number of them. If you aren’t sure what these sections relate to, then open up a new tab and go to the information section of your profile. You will see that the categories here match category titles on your profile. You can control who sees each of these categories. Right now, you should have it set to whatever default setting you are using (hopefully not Everyone). You need to click on the drop down box to the right of each category. A list will appear, select “Custom”:
Step 4: A “pop up” box will appear that allows you to control who can see and not see information in this box. Now, you need to determine for each category who should see this and not. I find it is easiest to allow my Friends to see something, and then use the lists to restrict people who can’t see something. The top half lets you choose who can see this category in a broad sense. Each category is pretty self-explanatory here. What we want to focus on is the “Hide From These People” portion on the bottom half. There is a text box there, when you start typing it will come up with your friends and your lists. Type in the name of the list and select it. Add any lists to this box that contain people you don’t want to see something. For example, I don’t think my business associates need to see “interested and Looking For”. So I type in the name of the list that contains my business associates into this box. Once I save it, those people will no longer see that information on my profile page.
Go through and do this for each category, making sure that you add any of the lists for people you want to block from that information. As I said, it may take a little while to do this all. The great part is this though! Now when you add a “friend” all you need to do is select the list they should be in (you get his option once you confirm a friend request, or when you are making one). They will automatically be put into that list and the security settings you are setting now will automatically apply. So you can “set it and forget it!”
***One caveat though! Your photo albums are individually controlled. When you click on “Edit Album privacy”, you will have to change the security on each and every album. This can be time consuming if you have a large number of albums, but again, once you have set it, they will stay that way!
You are all done…. Now what?
Now comes the cool part! When you go to post things, like status’ or links, or videos, you can now control who sees these items. You should see a lock at the bottom, and when you click on It a familiar drop down appears allowing you to control the privacy of whatever you are sharing. Again, use your lists to restrict those who don’t need to see it. It will also give you the option to save your security settings as your default. This way you don’t have to change it every time you want to post something.
Now… do you want to get crazy with it? You can also use lists to show things to ONLY a group of people. For example, let’s say I have a wholesale deal in Los Angeles that I want to push out. Well none of my friends who don’t live in LA really need to see it. So, using the custom option again, I can say that only the people on my list called “LA Realtors” can see this. Now I know that people who don’t care about my LA wholesale deal are not going to get spammed with a message they don’t care about. This means that it is less likely that person will block me from their feed, and they will see the messages I want them to see!
The last thing to remember is that lists are COMPLETELY DIFFERENT THAN BUSINESS PAGES. We didn’t delve into business pages here, as it is outside of the scope of this series. Lists allow you to control personal information that you are posting as yourself, rather than your business.
That’s it from me. Hopefully you found this informative, useful, and have put it into action!
Please visit us on Facebook, you can click the giant Facebook logo to the right. Please also share this with everyone (use the cool share bar to the left)! I think it is very important for people who are using Facebook to set their privacy settings correctly! If you have any comments I would love to hear them or discuss them with you, so don’t hesitate to leave them!!