How to do a privacy check-up on Facebook

Facebook has faced fierce criticism in recent months, over concerns that it is not doing enough to protect user privacy.

These issues, combined with poor growth forecasts, lead to a single day 24% drop in the social network’s share price last week (26 July), costing investors $120 billion – the biggest single-day loss for an individual stock in history.

With privacy still very much on the mind of users, Facebook South Africa has outlined how to do a privacy check-up.

To access Privacy Check-up:

  • Open your Facebook app and click on the Menu button (the button with three horizontal lines).
  • In the menu, you’ll see a button labelled “Settings & Privacy” (with a picture of a cog). Click on it.
  • In “Settings & Privacy”, click on “Privacy shortcuts”. This section contains tools to help you control your privacy and security on Facebook – things like who sees what you share on Facebook, and what data Facebook uses to help personalise your experience.
  • One of the Privacy options will be “Review a few important privacy settings”.
  • Clicking this takes you to Privacy Check-up. Click “Next” to begin.

First screen

The first screen asks you to to choose the default audience for the things you post on News Feed.

You can pick from a range of audiences options. For example:

  • Completely private so only you can see your posts
  • Visible to friends only
  • Visible to a specific list of friends that you create
  • Public

Even though the option you choose will be your default setting for profile posts, you can still change the audience each time you post.


Second screen

The second screen shows you information you’ve added to your profile and asks you to decide who you’d like to share it with.

  • This screen will show you information from your profile like your phone number, email address, age, birthday, where you live and where you work etc.
  • You can choose from a range of different audiences for each specific piece of information. For example, I might want to let my friends see my birth date, but set my birth year to “only me.”
  • You can also go to the About section of your profile to delete any information you no longer want to share.

Third screen

The third and final section shows you apps and websites from other companies that you’ve used Facebook to log into.

  • People sometimes use Facebook to log into other apps or websites for ease or convenience. It’s a good idea to review these regularly.
  • You can edit who on Facebook can see the apps and websites you use – for example, “friends” or “only me.”
  • You can also remove any you don’t want.
  • If you click to remove an app from your account, you’ll also be asked if you’d like to delete all posts, photos and videos on Facebook that the app might have published on your behalf.

Once you click Done, your Privacy Check-up is complete.

You can come back to this at any time to review and change your settings.

“We recommend doing this on a regular basis to make sure you know what you’re choosing to share, and who to share it with,” Facebook said.


Read: Facebook shares plunge 24% as growth stalled by scandal

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How to do a privacy check-up on Facebook