Facebook can help you connect with your family and friends, get information about where to get help, and more. But there are risks for you when using Facebook, for example, interactions with the public may put you and your loved ones at risk.

The Ask team has prepared this article to provide you with tips to protect and control your information while using Facebook.

Note: Facebook is constantly changing the way it works to protect its customers, so remember that the following may change over time.

Step 1 – Select Account Safety and Notifications Settings

Change your password

The password should be easy for you to remember but difficult for others to find. For more security, your Facebook password should be different from the other passwords you use to log in to other accounts, such as your email or bank account. You can find more security tips for creating a password by clicking here.

Click here to learn how to change your password on Facebook.

After changing the password, make sure not to share it with others!

Set notifications or alerts due to unknown logins

You can receive an alert when a person tries to log into your Facebook account through a device (tablet or phone) or a website you don't know. Improve the security of your Facebook account. These alerts tell you which device is trying to access your account and where it is located.

To learn how to enable alerts or notifications about unknown people logging into your account, click here.

Turn on the two-factor option to confirm your identity: Two-factor authentication (2FA) is a secure feature that helps protect your Facebook account and password. If you set up two-factor authentication, if someone you do not know tries to access your Facebook account using a website or smartphone, you will be asked to enter a special code or password or to verify the account.

Click here to learn how to enable two-factor authentication.

See where you have been logged in: If you have accidentally locked out of your Facebook account on a device that your family can access and have not logged out, or you've lost your device, or you're not logged out. If you sold it from Facebook, you might want to check which of these devices are logged in and do something about it. To log out of Facebook on another computer, phone, or tablet:

1. Go to your Security and Login Settings by clicking here.

2. Go to the section where you are logged in. You may have to click (See More) to see it every time you log in.

3. If you are logged in and want to log out. Click on this symbol and then click on Log Out.

Visit the Facebook Help Center to keep your account safe.

Step 2 - Control your privacy settings

What is shared publicly on Facebook is public information and can be seen by anyone, including people who are not your friends, people who are not on Facebook, and people who use other sites on the Internet. they do. If you are not sure what your profile looks like, follow the instructions in this link to see how your profile appears to others.

If you do not feel comfortable sharing your information publicly, you can change your settings or settings to control who can see the content you share. Below are some tips to control your privacy column. However, please keep in mind that regardless of the privacy settings you choose, Facebook will still have access to your information, including information about the content you post or publish, your connections and networks, as well as your use of Facebook has access. You can learn more about Facebook's policy here.

Lock your profile: In some countries, Facebook allows you to lock profiles to show a limited view of your profile content to people you are not friends with on Facebook.

Locking your profile means that only your friends can see your profile photos and posts, including your full profile photo or cover photo, as well as your stories, posts, and photos.

Learn more about the meaning of profile locking and how to lock a profile here.

If you cannot or don't want to lock your profile, you can control your privacy in other ways through your privacy column.

Choose who can see your basic information on Facebook: You can change and modify your basic personal information on Facebook (for example: gender, contact information, relationships, work, education). Click here to learn more about how to change basic information on your Facebook profile.

Learn more about the available Audience options for Facebook here.

Limit the visibility of the About section: If you have something in your About section that you don't want to share, here are the things you can do:

​ 1. From your profile page, click on the edit profile button.

2. Then click on Edit your About Info button. Turn off anything you don't want to share on your profile. Better yet, you can remove that information completely by deleting that information or by reducing contacts or Adins and selecting the Only Me option.

You can also find Facebook guides here.

You should note that some details, such as your name or the back photo of your profile (cover photo), cannot be subject to appearance restrictions under any circumstances.

Hide page likes on Facebook: If you want to make your liked pages private on Facebook and prevent them from appearing on your timeline, and you don't want non-friends or even friends to know which pages you like. You can hide your page. You can hide the pages you like based on categories. For example, if you don't want people to know which movies you like, you can simply click on the contact selector next to the movies category and change the privacy to Only Me to hide it from everyone.

Following are the steps to hide your likes on Facebook:

  1. Log in to your Facebook account and go to your timeline by clicking on your name.
  2. Click on the More section below your photo, then select Likes from the drop-down menu.
  3. Click on the icon to the right (Likes) and select (Edit the Privacy of Your Likes).
  4. Click on the contact selector next to each category (which usually appears as a globe) and select Only Me to hide them from everyone.
  5. Press the Close button to end the privacy column of your like pages.

And now, except yourself, all your likes are hidden from everyone. Click here for more information.

Choose who can see what you share on Facebook

Facebook provides several options to allow you to choose when new changes, photos or posts are shared. Leave, and even see some of your profile.

For example, you can:

- Select new contacts for one of your previous posts.

- By limiting past posts, who can see all your past posts at once, change it so that only friends can see it. This function only controls the contacts related to the posts you have shared. If you are tagged in someone else's post, they control the audience for their posts.

To learn more about how to choose who can see past posts on your timeline, visit the Facebook Help Center.

Choose who can post or publish on your profile

When a friend tags you in a post on Facebook, it will automatically appear on your profile. If you want to review all posts (including friends' posts) before they appear on your profile, you must turn on Timeline Review.

Learn more about how to enable Timeline browsing by clicking here.

Remember, if someone you are not friends with tags you in a post, you will be prompted to review it to appear on your profile, even if you don't have Timeline browsing enabled.

Here you can learn more about tags on Facebook and check your current options in the profile and tag section.

Control who can search for you and find your profile

You may want to limit how people can find your Facebook. You should know that everyone, except people you have blocked, can search for you and click on your profile, but what they can see about you in the search results depends on what you have shared with them. If you want to adjust your column, do the following steps:

  1. Click on the top right of Facebook.
  2. Select the column and privacy (Setting & Privacy), then click on the column.
  3. Click Privacy on the left. Under the How People Find and Contact You section, you will see a column for your email and a column for your phone number:
  4. To update or change your email column, click on Edit on the right side, who can search for you using the email address you provided?
  5. To renew your phone number in the column, click on the edit on the right side of Who can search you using the phone number you provided?
  6. Select people who can use it to search for your information (for example, friends).

If you don't want search engines outside of Facebook to directly link to your profile, you can edit this column from your privacy column. When editing, do you want non-Facebook search engines to link to your profile, make sure you choose NO.

Turning off this column only controls whether a search engine will link to your profile because of this search engine's search. Your profile information can still appear in search engine results because it's information you've shared with public contacts or posts and comments you've shared on public pages or groups.

Disabling this column only controls whether a search engine will link to your profile because of a search by this search engine. Your profile information can still appear in search engine results because it's information you've shared with public contacts or posts and comments you've shared on public pages or groups.

Learn more about how to control who can find you on Facebook by clicking here.

Manage the privacy of your location

Your location can be shared in different ways: with applications, through private messages, or by someone else who tags you. It's important to carefully consider when and with whom you share your location, and if possible, take steps to protect your location. To learn more about the privacy of your location on Facebook, click here.

Step 3 - Define a trusted community

Limiting who can contact you through Facebook and friends you know and trust

Unfortunately, some people use tactics like friend impersonation to gain access to your personal information. Before accepting a friend request, look at their profile to see if you know the person and if you have mutual friends. If you receive a friend request from someone you're already friends with, ask them if they've made a friend request before accepting it. If they haven't requested it, report the impersonation profile to Facebook.

Remember that you can control who can be your friend or follow you on Facebook. You may want to change the option from public only to your friends who have other friends. Learn more about how to change this column by clicking here.

Unfortunately, there is no option to completely disable friend requests, although you may want to choose who can see your friend list on your profile. Here you can find instructions on how to do it.

Deleting or blocking people who bother you on Facebook: deleting or blocking a person from your friend's list will cause them to be banned from posting on your timeline and contacting you through Messenger or Facebook chat. Learn more here

What else is important to know?

Before you post something on Facebook, think twice

When you post something on social media, you're posting something that's going to go viral. Before sharing content or liking a page or a post on Facebook, it is important for you to always wait and think whether your action could be harmful to you or your family. While the information seems to be shared only with your friends and family, it can also be shared with hackers and fraudsters who deface social media sites. Learn more here.

Beware of scammers on Facebook

You should also pay attention to the messages you receive on Facebook and the content you see on other people's timelines. Malicious actors are always looking for ways to trick their victims. This can usually be something harmless, like asking you to like a funny post or reply to a message that contains fake news. Like your email account, scammers may send links that contain viruses or deceptive messages through Facebook. Hackers usually take over Facebook accounts and send such messages to everyone in the friends list. As always, if a link looks suspicious, don't click on it, and remember that if something seems too good to be true, it probably is.

What to do in case of a problem?

If you think your account has been hacked or taken over, you can visit HaveIBeenPwned to confirm. If your account has been compromised and you cannot log in, you can report it at the following address: https://www.facebook.com/hacked/

Find out more about how to protect your account after being hacked here.

Useful resources:

  • Staying Safe on Facebook (English, Pashto, Dari)
  • Facebook Help Center (English, Pashto, Dari)
  • Facebook Safety Center (English)
  • Manage your Privacy (English)
  • Stay Safe and Secure (English)

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