Best Facebook setup to privacy using Access lists

on May 27, 2010
(3 minute read)

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Here’s a nice way to keep your privacy settings in Facebook up-to-date and secure. It is really easy to set up and you can customize every friend individually really fast and easy. I’ve been using it for the last year and my account is as secure as I want, just sharing what I want to whom I want and hiding what I don’t want to show too in an easy way to set up and maintain.

Facebook Friend lists

The friend lists are useful to group people regarding your relation with you i.e. Family, Work colleagues, University, High School, London…

But you can also use Friend lists to create Access lists. That’s what we are going to do…

Planning the Access lists

What we will do is to create a list for each type of access. Thiese are the access lists I’ve got:

  • 01 – Status and Links (friends in this group will be able to see wall posts, status updates, Interests and groups I belong to)
  • 02 – Wall Posts (friends here will be able to POST on your wall)
  • 03 – Photos (will be able to see your photos)
  • 04 – Videos (videos are usually more embarrassing/private than photos so I prefer to separate people that can see photos and videos)
  • 05 – Education and Work (will be able to see Education and Work information)
  • 07 – Contact info (will be able to see your address, phone number, etc.)
  • 00 – NOTHING (this people will not be able to see anything! useful for those Facebook friends you don’t know at all but you’ve added through Facebook games, because they are hot, you were drunk or [insert strange reason here])

TIP: Use a prefix like “01 – ” to differentiate between Access and normal Friend lists.

Once you’ve got your lists planned (you can be more specific and differentiate between Status updates and Interests, etc…) let’s create them.

Creating Facebook Access lists

Go to Friends:

And click on Create list:

Now type in the first access group: 01 – Status and links.

Select those friends you want to be able to see your status and links. Maybe you want just some of your family members to be able to see them, or only some work colleagues.

Keep doing this with all the above groups mentioned.

Last step is to create the 00 – NOTHING group. This group will have no access to anything, I use it for those people you just add from Facebook games like Mobwars, Farmville and so, just because you need to have more friends playing it to improve in the game but they are not really your friends.

Configuring the Access lists in Facebook Privacy Settings

Now that we’ve got all our Access lists created let’s go to set them up. Click Account, Privacy settings:

Go through all the sections:

And in each item select Custom:

A popup window will show some settings.

In Make this visible to select Custom and select one or more of the Access groups you just created. In the Except select the 00 – NOTHING.

Here are my settings for Mobile phone:

Another example:

Keep doing this for all the settings. Once you finish it should look something like this:

Editing Access lists later

If you need to edit Access lists later you can do that by clicking Friends:

A list of all the lists will show, select the one you want to edit:

And then click on Edit list at the top right:

And select or de-select friends.

Confirming or adding a new friend

When confirming a new friend:

An Add to list button will appear, click it and a popup window will show:

Customize your new friend’s access to your Facebook stuff. If you don’t know him/her just select the 00 – NOTHING and he/she won’t have access to anything.

The End :)

That’s it, hope this helps everyone be more secure online now that Facebook is messing around with their policies.

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Feel free to post any suggestions or ideas to improve this.

Heading image credit: bejealousofme

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