Facebook Time Line – Privacy

Facebook has introduced for, or foisted upon, depending on your viewpoint the new timeline feature to all it’s users. This new feature is being proclaimed in some quarters as the end of all privacy for Facebook, hopefully this blog post will show you how to set it up to suit you and allay those fears. Much of this advice has been taken from, and should be credited to Davey Winder, PC Pro Sept 2012, @happygeek on Twitter

So, what is “Timeline”? Well, Facebook say it is designed to be “the story of your life”. In fact all it does is collect and collate all your posts on Facebook into a single screen. It’s important to realise that Timeline does not show anything that wasn’t already accessible – it just makes it easier to find. It also combines the old profile and wall pages into a single screen(s).

The problem with Timelines ability to clearly show your Facebook past is that the way you use Facebook now, and your circle of friends, might be very different from how you used to use it – for example you probably don’t want you current colleagues or manager seeing pictures from a night out as a 1st year student.

So, the first thing to do is make use of the “Limit past posts” function. To find this do the following:-

  • Click on the down arrow (triangle) to the right of the “Home” button in the menu bar at the top of the Facebook Page.
  • Click on the Privacy Settings
  • Set your Default Privacy to Friends Only, then click the “Manage Past Post Visibility” this will change the settings on ALL your old posts to hide them from public view, however your friends will still be able to see them.

If your worried about people seeing your job history, relationship changes, friendship data, photos and status updates, being on display restrict who can see what by doing the following :-

You can click on the “edit” icon next to each such entry in your timeline and select “Hide from Timeline” or if you wnat it gone forever, click delete. Note that not every type of content can be deleted, but most can. It might take a while, but the point is you have control over what can, and cannot be seen by others.

If you posted something on somebody else’s Wall, and they are not that worried about privacy, the post will become public by “proxy” and you can’t hide it, but you can delete it. Use the activity log to see all your posts by date, go through this, and delete anything you want to remove.

The Timeline control under Home->Privacy Settings-> Timeline and Tagging also allows you to control who can post to your timeline, who can see content on your timeline, it allows you to review posts before they appear on your timeline, and control who see’s tag suggestions when photos that look like you are uploaded.

So overall, the timeline is probably a good thing, and it does offer you a fine degree of control over who can see what…..

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