Here are tips and guidelines for maintaining privacy on Facebook and making sense of the ever-changing features and settings.

How to use the Facebook Acquaintances List to hide annoying updates

Friends except Acquaintances

We all have those friends – the ones that post status updates continuously throughout the day, overwhelming your news feed with pictures of their breakfast croissant, pictures of their dogs, their grocery list, and the latest viral videos. You like this friend and want to stay in touch, but you’re just not interested in every single detail of their daily life.
Here’s an updated method for keeping someone’s updates off your news feed.

What is Nearby Friends on Facebook?

Facebook Nearby Friends allows for easy sharing of location

A few days ago I shared how your iPhone keeps tabs on where you are. Well, Facebook does too. “Nearby Friends” on Facebook mobile lets friends know that you’re nearby. If you have the Facebook app on your phone (iPhone or Android) you have this feature available. Nearby Friends is an opt-in feature; meaning, it is OFF unless you turn the feature ON. Let’s take a closer look at Nearby Friends, including what it might mean for teens.

5 Minute Facebook Privacy Checkup

Who can see my future posts?

Facebook privacy settings can be so confusing. Facebook seems to change their settings frequently and the myriad of options can be overwhelming. Recently a friend realized that he had been sharing his Facebook posts not just with his friends, but with everyone on Facebook. When your posts are public, there is an increased chance that you will show up in Facebook search, and that your information is exposed to people you don’t know. So here is a suggested 5-minute Facebook review to make sure that you are only sharing with your friends.

How to Distance yourself from a Facebook friend without Unfriending

Facebook logo

A relative of mine asked me, “What can I do if I don’t want to see someone’s updates on Facebook, but I’d rather not unfriend or block them?” Here’s how to make it seem like you have unfriended a person. First, you will prevent their updates from showing up on your news feed (the page you see when you first log into Facebook). Then, you can prevent them from seeing your updates.

Who can see what I’ve shared from a public Facebook page?

Facebook logo

I recently received a question from a reader about Facebook privacy: “How can I be hidden in the sharing list when I share something from a public page? (By sharing list I mean the list of who has shared a post, that everyone can see.)” Only people who would have reason to see your posts in the first place would see that you have shared something from a public page. Your best bet – look for the globe! For details, read on.

Changes to Facebook Privacy controls – the Privacy Shortcut


Facebook has received criticism in the past for making privacy settings difficult to find and understand. A new privacy shortcut icon now leads you to the most important settings. A streamlined Privacy and Account settings page makes it easier to find all settings in one place. A detailed explanation is also available for those who really want to dig in to the specifics.

Protect your Facebook account from hackers


Recently a friend-of-a-friend’s Facebook account was hacked. She realized that spam e-mails were being sent from her account. Here are some steps you can take if you believe your account has been compromised, along with some steps to prevent this from happening. Please share this with your Facebooking teens. A 2011 survey showed that 30% of teen’s accounts had been hacked – by a friend! So help them check their privacy and security settings on a regular basis.

How to Quit Facebook

Delete Facebook

I was chatting with some friends recently and one mentioned that she’d taken a break from Facebook. She was deciding between getting back into it, and just quitting altogether. She said she was on “Facebook Life Support” which I thought was pretty funny!

Kids on Facebook – Yes, No, Maybe?

Baby with a laptop

I read a startling statistic the other day: 4% of children on Facebook are under the age of 6! This attention-grabbing headline was just one result of a survey of 1,000 U.S. parents. It reminded me of one of my first articles, originally published in February 2011. Most of what I wrote over a year ago still holds true.