Facebook Tip: Control privacy with a Friends List

Facebook logoSo let’s say you’re like me and you have reconnected with friends from your past on Facebook.  You might have your high school friends, college buddies, and former co-workers.  And then you have groups of people like family, neighbors, and book club.  And perhaps, a few acquaintances.

A friends list is a way to group people together.  Once you have a friends list you can use it in various ways, such as restricting certain portions of your profile to certain groups of friends.  This is a great feature because it puts you in control of what certain groups of people can see.

This is basically a 2-step process:

  1. Create a list and put friends into the list
  2. Limit what members of the list can see on your profile

So Let’s Do it!

First Step: Create a List

  1. Click on your Profile.
  2. On the left, underneath your picture, click on “Friends”.  Then, near the top right of the page, click “Edit Friends”.Screenshot showing where to Click' Friends' and then 'Edit Friends'
  3. Now you are on the “Friends” Page.  Click the “Create a List” button.
    Screenshot showing the Create a List option
  4. Name your list, for example “college buddies”, or “work colleagues” or “People I don’t know but didn’t want to admit it so I accepted the friend request”.   In this example I’ll set up a list for “acquaintances”.
  5. Click the friends you want to add to the list.  My test account only has one friend, Bob Dooms.  I’ll add him to the list.
  6. Then click “Create List”.

    Screenshot showing how to select a friend and Create a List

Second Step: Limit what members of the list can see

Okay, so now you have your Acquaintances list.  Let’s say you don’t want acquaintances to see certain details about you.   For example, you might not want them to see pictures that others have tagged you in, because you don’t have control over who can tag you in a picture.   So here’s how to do it:

  1. In the upper right, click “Account” and then “Privacy Settings”.
  2. By default, Facebook uses their recommended settings.  Their recommended settings may be more permissive than you’d like – for example Everyone logged into Facebook would be able to see your Status updates, photos and posts! You don’t want that, do you? No, you don’t!
  3. Click “Customize Settings”. This is a small link.  (They don’t want you to find it.)
  4. This page is divided into three sections:  Things I share, Things others share, and Contact information.  For each section, you can fine-tune the privacy setting.
  5. RECOMMENDED: Change all settings to Friends Only.
  6. So now only your Friends can see your stuff.  But what about that list of acquaintances? Let’s adjust it so that they cannot see Photos and videos you’re tagged in.  Click “Edit Settings”.  Click “Customize”.Screenshot showing dialog box for tagged photos and videos
  7. In the box “Hide this from these people” start typing the name of your list.  Facebook will find the list – click it to add the list as shown below.  Click “Save Setting”.Screenshot of the Custom Privacy dialog box

You’re done! The result is that now, only your friends can see photos and videos you’re tagged in, except your acquaintances.  They won’t see photos and videos you’re tagged in.   You can repeat the process for any other category that you’d like to restrict.

Hope this tip helps you feel more confident sharing information on Facebook.   Leave me a comment if you try this out or have suggestions for other tips I might write about.


One thought on “Facebook Tip: Control privacy with a Friends List

  1. Pingback: Facebook Tip – Use Lists to target your updates | Deep Thoughts by Jean

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