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Tip of the Week: Make Facebook More Private By Enabling the Follow Feature

While it’s a security best practice to keep strangers off of your Facebook account, you might feel that it’s understandable to accept an unknown request for the sake of networking or otherwise. This isn’t the ideal way to approach Facebook, but you do have a unique opportunity to allow users to view your profile and follow your public posts, without the need to accept a friend request.

This feature is called “follow,” which limits who can send you actual friend requests while still allowing some users to view your public posts. This is important primarily because hackers and scammers will often create fake profiles in an attempt to connect with potential victims. Their target might be sensitive credentials or other important information, so it’s important to avoid friend requests from people who you may not know.

To allow users to follow your profile and prevent users who don’t know who you are from sending friend requests, follow these instructions.

First, log into your Facebook account. If you’re using a desktop, select the down-arrow in the top right corner of Facebook. Once you’ve done so, click on Settings, which will be at the bottom.

Doing so will open up the General Account Settings. In the left column, notice the sub-categories for Facebook’s settings. You want to click on Privacy first.

In the Privacy Settings and Tools page, you’ll see sections that allow you to control who sees what you post on Facebook. The first option you want to find is the Who can contact me? Section. Click the Edit option and change the setting to Friends of friends. By doing so, you’ll be safe from friend requests from all but those who are currently on one of your friends’ rosters, and you’ll be able to send your own invitations in the same way as before.

If you want to give someone the ability to see what you post without accepting a friend request, you can enable public posts. This lets you share what you post, such as articles from your industry or professional development, without sharing personal posts that are meant for only your friends–effectively allowing you to split up your personal and professional posts. Just scroll down to Public Posts in the left column and open up the Public Post Filters and Tools page. Next, in the Who Can Follow Me section, select Public. Now you can select Public to make posts available to Followers, or Friends for posts meant only for your friends.

Granted, even with all of these measures, you still need to practice healthy skepticism when dealing with users on social media platforms. You never know who your latest friend could be, as it’s easy enough to hide behind the facade of an online account and pretend to be someone else. To learn more about how you can protect your business from online threats, reach out to us at (703) 288-9767.