Today while creating a webinar we were discussing that Facebook isn’t that secure. The reason we thought it wasn’t that secure it that when you add friends, colleagues and business contacts they all can see all your posts. Also it might annoy them to see posts that don’t relate to them.

We were so wrong…… after taking a closer look into the possibilities of Facebook we came across the following features that, combined, provide good security and selection to whom will see the updates.

–          Lists to group your contacts

–          Privacy options to secure access to your posts and/or other resources like photo albums.

So how can we make sure myhaving-a-nap-because-I drank-to-much-booze post isn’t shared among my colleagues and business contacts?

First step is to create a list or more if you wish.

After you clicked on “Friends” you get a new screen in the midsection of the screen. Click on “Edit Friends”.

Click on “Create a list” to create a list….

while you’re creating a list, you can add contacts to them.

On the left side of the screen the created lists are shown, like these in my Facebook. Don’t guess which one you’re in.

So afterwards you can also add contacts to your lists.

Just click on the list and type the name you wish to add.

After done this we’re heading to secure this all so we have some privacy again (because everyone tells you that’s what you’re looking for, aren’t they??)

Open your Privacy settings in your account menu

The page that opens will show you your current setting of privacy. Click on “Customize Settings”.

On the next page you can edit the setting about your privacy of certain areas….

If e.g. you open “Posts by me” and want to edit the default setting, so that your default posts are read by the right people, choose “Customize Edit”.

If you choose friends or friends of friends everyone can see your posts. You have an option to exclude groups of contacts by add the list to the “Hide this from” field.

When you’re finished editing this section, so the posts and your information part of facebook. You can also edit your photo album because you colleagues are not interested in your holiday pictures. Unless of course you a gorgeous woman then men will hope you have forgotten to secure your album and gone on a tropical holiday…..

Look at the bottom of the screen and click on “Edit Ablum privacy” to change the settings there.

To remind you, this can only be done after you created lists…..

The same goes for this part, find you album you DON’T want to share with all of us and click the button.

Choose “Custom edit” and choose specific people for it’s easier to specify who you grant access then to block all the lists you made.

After doing this you’re sure only people with the correct rights have access to you bikini pictures.

After doing this, if you then create a post, you will see a difference….

The default setting is changed to Friend only (in my case) and not to colleagues.

Hope this helps you protect your facebook and make sure you don’t spam people that don’t want to be spammed.




Update 2012!

Facebook has changed since I last created lists, today with 5 friend requests in my list I was forced to take a deeper look again. As you might know, I don’t like to share my whole life with all of you, depending on our relationship you get more or less info about me. That’s way I think it should be, and that’s also the way I would want it from anyone else… I don’t need to see you topless beachpictures or things like that…


So I dove into the lists again to see where to add them and how to protect my privacy.

on the left side there you can see your lists, clicking more you get all your lists. I opened the list colleagues and noticed that on the right side you can now manage the list. Clicking there a “Choose update types” is available. Clicking this you can edit per group what you want to show to the “friends” in that group. Sometimes you have to click it twice… might be my broswer but I have to click it twice to see the list.


Below you see the option you can set for each group, so if you don’t want a certain group to see you comments and likes you add to posts of your other friends, remove the mark and it’s set.


Also if you want to add or remove someone to the list, you click on Manage list and then Add/Remove Friends. I find the “Remove Friend” a strange option, if they are a friend why would you remove them…..

If you click on “On this list” and choose “On this list” it will only show the people on this list… it seems logical, and it is…


With pictures it’s still the same as before, you need to set permissions per album, so if you look at the picture below you see that I added just two groups to view this album.

 If you want to change this you click on the wheel and pointer and choose “Custom”

In the custom field you will be able to edit who can see the album, you can choose everyone (public) or restrict it with certain groups.

It’s not so difficult to manage this, it gives a bit more privacy and you can be sure that not everyone is looking at your pictures or receiving info you didn’t want to share with the world.

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