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.  These changes do make the privacy settings easier to find.  It still takes some effort though to fully understand all the options.

Privacy Shortcut

A new privacy shortcut icon is located at the top-right of the page next to the Home and Settings links.  Click on the icon and you’ll see three shortcuts:

1. Who can see my stuff?

2. Who can contact me?

3. How do I stop someone from bothering me?

Facebook Privacy Shortcuts


Links within each option allow you to take immediate action and make changes as needed.  For example here are the options for “Who can see my stuff”.

Who can see my stuff? on Facebook

From here you can change the audience of all your future posts, review your prior posts and tags using the Activity Log, and view your timeline as somebody else.

This tool lets you see what your timeline looks like to the public or a specific friend


Privacy and Account Settings in one place

Streamlined Privacy Settings and Account settings have merged into one location where you can review all your settings.  Click through the options on the left and review all your settings in one place.

A page called “Understanding Your Settings” is a must-read for anyone who uses Facebook – including any parent with teens who use Facebook.  This page explains where settings are located on the site and what they do.  I counted twenty-eight sections on the page, from “Who can send you friend requests?”  and “Timeline Tagging” to “Apps Games and Websites” and “Review tags people add to your own posts on Facebook”.

Timeline and Tagging – study this one closely

There is a new setting in the Timeline and Tagging section called “When you’re tagged in a post, who do you want to add to the audience if they aren’t already in it?”  This controls what happens when you are tagged in someone else’s post.  The default is “Friends”.  This means, if your friend Joe shares an update with his friends, and tags you in the post, then your friends will see it too.  You can change the default to “Only Me”.  That way, Joe’s friends will still see the post, but your friends won’t (unless they are also friends with Joe).

Changing who can see posts you're tagged in to 'Only me'

Honestly it can be a bit overwhelming especially if you are new to using Facebook.  [Even Facebook founder Zuckerberg’s family members seem to be struggling with proper settings]. With greater control comes  more choice, and while that is a good thing it also means you must stay educated [and help your teens stay informed] so you all know which choices to make.  So take the time to read through all the options.  Start with the Privacy Shortcuts, move on to the more detailed privacy settings page, and finally review your profile and Activity Log.


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  1. BETTY ELMORE says

    Can you tell me or send me the directions on how to put my privacy shortcuts back over with the account settings I was in a hurry one day and clicked on the wrong thing and sent the shortcut over by the FACEBOOK (left corner) and the whole side is black about 1 to 2 inches wide it is not very useful and it is ugly

    • Jean says

      Hi Betty, unfortunately I’m not really sure I get what you mean. Not able to help on that particular issue, sorry.

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