Friday, December 23, 2011
Facebook is meant to be the social networking site – which has all your personal data, with your friends – and all their personal data. But have you ever panicked when your parents sent you a friend request? If yes, then read on. If no, then read on!
There are two ways to protect your profile from your parents – hide the past and restrict them. Before you start doing this, you need to make your Facebook account public (if you are below 18 years of age). You also should not add them as “Family” on facebook – just as normal friends on Facebook.
1. Restrict your family
While this may sound rude, it actually is not – on Facebook, that is. Once you restrict any profile on Facebook, the updates you mark under them are the only things they can see on your profile – the rest will be hidden from their sight.
There are two ways in which you can do this.
a. Using Restricted Lists (Recommended)
In Facebook’s privacy settings, there is an option called Blocked People and Apps, click on Manage Blocking and in the list of options, click on Edit Lists in the Restricted Lists option. Then, select your parents from the list and click on Done. Then, only your public updates are visible to them. [Screenshot – click to Enlarge].
b. Using Custom as Default Privacy option
Everytime you post an update, it gets posted under this privacy option. To change this, go to Facebook’s privacy settings and in the three options you see – chose “Custom”.
In the Facebook dialog box that appears, select the options you want, and in the “Hide this From” list, select the profiles of your family and click on Save Changes.
The next time you post anything, your family wont know about it. This would be a lifesaver and a must-activate option for any teenager. [Screenshot – click to enlarge].
Now that all of your future posts are safe from the sight of your family, you might also want to make sure your past is not visible to them either. The option to limit all of your posts is also present in Facebook’s Privacy settings.
Select on the Limit the Audience for Past Posts, and limit your past. This means that people on your restricted list will not be able to see your updates – as all of them will be marked “Friends Only”.
3. Remove all those personal photos
All your status updates are taken care of, but only one thing remains – your photos (and videos, if any). Your family might definitely check out those photos of you hanging out with your friends, etc which might make them have a bad impression on you.
To counteract this, remove all the photos which you think your parents shouldn’t see – manually.
To prevent people from tagging you to awkward photos in the future, click on the How Tags Work in Facebook’s privacy settings – and enable “Tag Review”. This means that every time one of your friends tag you on Facebook, you would have to verify whether you would want to be tagged in that photo.
[Screenshot – Click to enlarge]
4. Hide Relationship Status
So, you really like a girl and your proposed her. She accepted, and both of you have changed your relationship statuses on Facebook. But then, you don’t want your parents to know about it. If you change your relationship status back to single, she is definitely going to get hurt. So what do you do? Hide your relationship status from the public!
To do that, Edit your profile. In the Basic Information* box, click on Edit and next to relationship status – click on Only Me (if you don’t want anyone else to know about it), or select Custom and add your parents in the Hide This From people.
[*] I have the timeline enabled, so I have options like that on Facebook. If you use the older version of Facebook, then you should consider upgrading.