Managing your Facebook Timeline privacy – Helpdesk challenge

by , Deputy Computing Editor Privacy 26/05/2012
facebook timeline privacy

The new Facebook Timeline display hasn’t proven to be a popular adjustment to the Facebook interface, but for now, it’s here to stay, and that has implications for the privacy of your posts, information and photos.

Timeline differs from previous Facebook approaches by displaying a giant cover picture at the top of a profile, before listing all posts and events below in a chronological fashion that makes it easier for yourself, or others, to sift through your past Facebook activities. You can read more about it in our guide to Facebook Timeline.

The feature has been controversial, with only 8% of 4,000 people saying they liked the new Timeline feature, according to a poll by Sophos, while 51% of those surveyed said they “were worried by its introduction”.

If you’re feeling unsure about how the Facebook Timeline will present you to friends (or non-friends), try the following tips for tightening up your Facebook privacy settings:

1) Access your privacy settings

Click the down arrow beside Home and then click Privacy Settings. Beside the heading ‘Timeline and Tagging’, click the blue link marked Edit Settings.

2) Restrict others’ access

Where it says ‘Who can post on your Timeline’, click the down arrow and choose either ‘Friends’ or ‘No one’ for extra control. Similarly, click the drop-down arrow to set who is allowed to see posts on your Timeline when you’re tagged.

3) See posts before they go online

You can also adjust your settings so that you have a chance to check posts before they appear on your timeline.

Access your timeline privacy settings  and where it says ‘Review posts friends tag you in before they appear on your timeline’ click the arrow (facing right) and click the down arrow beside the word Disabled. Click Enabled and then click Back.

4) Limit old posts

One of the biggest criticisms of the Facebook Timeline is that it resurfaces old posts and photographs you may have forgotten about and may no longer wish to be visible to everyone. With a few clicks you can ensure that all older posts are only visible to people with whom you are Friends (as opposed to Everyone or Friends of Friends).

To do this go to your Facebook profile and click the down arrow beside where it says ‘Home’ and click Privacy Settings. Beside ‘Limit the Audience for Past Posts’ click Manage Past Post Visibility. Click Limit Old Posts and then click Confirm. Click Close.

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