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Facebook Privacy: How Do I Stop My Photos From Being Visible To Everyone?

by Jo Shaer, on May 20, 2013

It was a question that came up during one of my High Visibility Social Media training courses in Essex and again when I was doing some one-to-one tuition with Synergise.

But the answer is not obvious. If you click on the padlock at the top of your profile page, it doesn't mention photos. If you click on the cog and go into Privacy Settings from that dropdown menu, again, no mention of photographs.

I searched online and there was a video but it became apparent that, even though it was made in 2013, it was now out of date because the functions mentioned were no longer visible.

The Facebook Help Centre also gave no answers!!!

By some trial and error, this is what I discovered.

How To Set Facebook Privacy To Control Who Sees Your Photos

facebook privacy for photosFirst, you need to go into your photo albums.

Click on Photos in the timeline navigation bar under the cover image on your personal page.

For each album listed, in the bottom right hand corner of the image, you will see either the little image of the world - which indicates privacy is set to public - or a cog setting - which means that you can access each photo individually to set the permissions as to who can see that image.
public or cog privacy settings on facebook photosObviously Cover Images will be set to Public by default. My Timeline photo album has the cog setting but is actually controlled by the timeline settings that I have set within my main privacy settings to friends only. So I don't need to change individual photos there. However, if your timeline privacy is set to public by default, then you will have to go through this laborious process.

As I was undertaking this exercise, I also noticed that my timeline setting had been reset to public. Facebook gave me the message that this was due to a status update that I had posted with public permission. I have to admit that I don't recall doing that so I would advise everyone to regularly check this setting and ensure that it has not unilaterally been reset without your knowledge - something that could easily happen with all the changes currently being made behind the scenes at Facebook. This definitely happened once before in February 2013.

privacy drop down on facebook photosI'm not sure whether mobile photos are set to public by default but, for me, they had the cog symbol. This meant that, if I want to control who can see them, then I will need to label each one individually. Curiously, as I went through, it was a real mishmash of some public and some friends only.

Here's another post that I wrote earlier about setting Facebook privacy to protect your personal pictures from your business fans. Some of the screens may be slightly different with the recent updates but I think it's still easy enough to work out what to do. Let me know if you are having problems.

Facebook Privacy and Groups

I wrote an earlier post about Facebook privacy for photos within Groups.

You should always remember that you cannot control the privacy settings of photos that you did not upload yourself. So, it is important that you control who can tag you in photos - see the privacy settings that are accessed via the drop down menu from the cog at the top right of the blue navigation bar.

Get a 1-2-1 training consultation to learn how to keep your personal life private on Facebook whilst still promoting your business.



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