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Guide to Making Facebook Photos Private

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Basic Tutorial on Keeping Facebook Photos Private
Facebook photo audience selector

The audience selector button lets you choose who can see photos you post on Facebook.

© Facebook

Putting photos on Facebook is easy; not so easy is keeping all those Facebook photos private.

Watch Out for "Public" by Default

By default, Facebook all too often makes photos and other material you post on the social network public, meaning anyone can see it. So your big challenge with sharing Facebook photos is making sure you limit who can see them.

Facebook changed its privacy settings in a major redesign in 2011. The new privacy settings give Facebook users more granular control over who gets to see what, but they also are a bit more complicated and can be hard to decipher.

Use the Inline Privacy Controls

For photos, you always have the option to make sure only your friends can view them by clicking the inline privacy button or "audience selector" right beneath the posting box. That button is next to the red arrow in the image above.

When you click the down arrow or button that usually says either "Friend" or "Public," you'll see a list of options for who you want to allow to see the particular photo you're posting or photo album you're creating.

"Friends" is the setting that most privacy experts recommend. It will allow only those you have connected with on Facebook to see them. Facebook calls this inline privacy menu its "audience selector" tool.

There are other photo privacy settings you can tweak or change, too. They include:

  1. Previously published photos - Facebook has a couple of options for changing the sharing settings on photos and albums previously published, as you'll see on Page 2 of this article.
  2. Tags - You should decide if you want to review any photos in which someone has "tagged" you before they can appear on your Facebook Wall. The photo tagging options are explained in greater detail on Page 3 of this article.
  3. Default Photo Sharing Setting - Make sure your default Facebook sharing option is set to "Friends" and not "Public." Click your name at the top right of your Facebook home page, then "privacy settings" and make sure "Friends" is the default option checked at the top. This article on the default Facebook privacy settings explains more on the privacy defaults.
On the next page, let's look at changing the privacy setting on a Facebook photo after it's already been published.

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