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Take These Steps to Make Facebook Private

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How to Take Your Facebook Friends List Private
Facebook friends privacy menu

Menu for controlling who sees your Facebook friends list

©Facebook

Facebook makes your friends list public by default. That means everyone can see it, even if they are not your friend.

You can change that with just a few clicks. The easiest way is you to go to your Timeline/profile page to edit the visibility of your friends list.

Clicking your name at the top right of your Facebook home page always takes you to your Timeline/profile page, then click the "FRIENDS" button under your Timeline cover photo, right next to where it lists the number of friends that you have. It will take you to a page listing all your friends.

Look for the small pencil icon to the right of where it says "Friend Requests" and "Find Friends" near the top of the page, but below your cover photo. Click the pencil icon (which stands for "edit") and you'll see two dropdown options as shown in the screen grab above on the left.

Select the "Edit Privacy" option by clicking on it. You'll see the full privacy menu (which is displayed on the right in the image above. These images are from the 2013 Facebook privacy settings, which tend to change every year.)

The following three options allow you to change the visibility of your friends list, and also change who can see people who "follow" you and people and pages you choose to follow or like.
  1. Friends List Click the small globe icon on the far right (or whatever other icon appears there) to change who will be allowed to see your list of friends. This is Facebook's standard audience selector menu. When you click the small down arrow, a longer list of options will appear. It not only includes "Friends" and "Only Me," but also "Custom" and any additional networks or groups you've joined below that. It's a good idea to change the default setting for who can see your list of Facebook pals to "Friends," so only people you've friended on Facebook will have access to this list. The globe icon denotes public, the default settings. Privacy experts recommend changing it to "Friends" at a minimum, so you don't share your list of friends with the whole world.
  2. Following Here you control who can see a list of people and pages you have chosen to follow on Facebook. The options are the same as for your friends list.
  3. Followers Here you control who can see the list of people "following" you, provided you allow people to "follow" your public posts. The options are the same as for your friends list.

Next, let's look at how to control who sees your Facebook profile (read this article if you're confused about the difference between your profile, home page, Wall and news feed.)

You should always stop and think about whether your profile and Timeline/Wall reveal too much information about you.

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  5. Friends Guide
  6. Facebook Friends: the Early Days
  7. Make Your Facebook Friends List Private

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