Facebook privacy settings on Android: Relaxed level

Learn how to change your privacy settings on Facebook using Android. These steps adjust your privacy and security settings to Relaxed level protection.
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How to protect your account from getting hacked

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Set a strong password

What for: So you don’t get hacked.

If you use a short and simple password for your Facebook account, cybercriminals can guess it and hijack your account. The more complex and longer the password, the stronger it is. Use a strong password that:

  • Consists of 8—20 characters
  • Contains lowercase and uppercase letters, numbers, and special characters ($, @, etc.)
  • Is not an actual word or easy-to-guess phrase
  • Is not the same as your passwords for any other accounts, including your Google password
  • Does not consist of information that strangers could easily find out (your name, date of birth, pet's name, etc., or those of your relatives and friends)

To change your password:

  1. Tap the menu icon in the upper right corner of the app;
  2. Select Settings & Privacy;
  3. Open Settings;
  4. Go to the Security and Login section;
  5. Tap Change password;
  6. Enter your current Facebook password;
  7. Enter a new strong password twice;
  8. Tap Save Changes.

Enable two-factor authentication

What for: So you’re even less likely to get hacked.

Facebook can be configured to request a one-time code when you log in to your account. That way, even if cybercriminals learn your username and password, they will not be able to use them. The code is sent by SMS to your specified phone number or generated by an app (for example, Google Authenticator).

To enable two-factor authentication:

  1. Tap the menu icon in the upper right corner of the app;
  2. Select Settings & Privacy;
  3. Open Settings;
  4. Go to the Security and Login section;
  5. Tap Use two-factor authentication;
  6. Tap Get Started and select a one-time code retrieval method:
  7. By SMS to the phone number linked to your Facebook account or another number (for example, a SIM card on another device).
  8. Tap Continue.
  9. In the window that opens, enter the code that Facebook sends to the phone number associated with the account, and tap Next.
  10. A code generated by another app, such as Google Authenticator.
  11. To activate two-factor authentication using the app, start it and follow the on-screen instructions.

Remember that a text message with the code can be intercepted by malware, which is why using a two-factor authentication app is a safer option. Facebook can also use the phone number you linked to your profile for targeted advertising.

With two-factor authentication, you can log in to your account even if you lose your phone. For that, you need the recovery codes. To get them:

  1. Tap the menu icon in the upper right corner of the app;
  2. Select Settings & Privacy;
  3. Open Settings;
  4. Go to the Security and Login section;
  5. Tap Use two-factor authentication;
  6. Select Recovery codes;
  7. Tap the Get codes button.

Each of the ten codes can be used only once. Write them down or take a screenshot of them, and keep the information in a safe place.


How to protect yourself against malicious websites

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Enable safe browsing

When you tap a link in a post, the Web page opens in a browser integrated into the Facebook app. This page can be malicious or use an insecure connection. Enable the safe browsing feature to get a warning from the app before you open suspicious pages.

To enable safe browsing:

  1. Tap the menu icon in the upper right corner of the app;
  2. Select Settings & Privacy;
  3. Open Settings;
  4. Go to the Security and Login section;
  5. Tap Safe Browsing;
  6. Activate the Safe Browsing feature.


How to keep corporations out of your business

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Limit access to location data

What for: So Facebook does not know where you go.

The Facebook app can access information about your location. This information is used to geotag your posts and stories and configure targeted advertising suggestions. If you do not want to share your location with strangers and the social network, you can disable access to location data.

To disable geodata transfer:

  1. Open your phone’s Settings menu;
  2. Go to the Apps & Notifications section;
  3. Select App Permissions;
  4. Tap Location;
  5. Turn off the toggle switch next to Facebook.

Bear in mind that the Facebook geodata log stores your locations harvested before access is disabled. You can turn off this feature and delete the collected data. To do so:

  1. Tap the menu icon in the upper right corner of the app;
  2. Select Settings & Privacy;
  3. Open Settings;
  4. Go to the Location section;
  5. Tap Location History;
  6. Disable the Location History feature;
  7. Tap View Your Location History;
  8. Enter your Facebook password;
  9. Tap Submit;
  10. Tap the three dots button in the upper right corner of the screen;
  11. Select Delete all location history and confirm your selection.

Downside: Facebook will not be able to alert your friends when you are nearby or show you nearby events. You won’t see location-based advertising, either.

If such apps as Instagram, Messenger or WhatsApp, which are owned by Facebook, have access to location data, this information can still be used by the social network.


How to defeat spammers and trolls

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Limit the ability to comment on your posts

What for: To remove irrelevant comments.

By default, all Facebook users can leave comments under your posts, an ability spammers and trolls often abuse.

To make sure that only your friends can comment on your posts:

  1. Tap the menu icon in the upper right corner of the app;
  2. Select Settings & Privacy;
  3. Open Settings;
  4. Go to Public Posts;
  5. Under Public Post Comments, select the check mark net to Friends.

You can also block the app from showing comments containing certain keywords or hashtags on your timeline. In this way you can hide offensive comments or other unwanted content. This feature can be configured only in the settings of the Web version of Facebook.

Block unwanted users

What for: To avoid unpleasant people.

If you want to stop a specific user from commenting on your posts, you can block that user. Blocked users will not be able to view your profile, leave comments under your posts, or send you private messages. In this case, the user will not know that you blocked them.

To block a user:

  1. Open the profile of the user you want to block;
  2. Tap More;
  3. Select Block;
  4. Select Block in the dialog that opens.


How to hide posts from unwanted people

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Configure visibility of posts

What for: So your posts will be seen only by those for whom they are intended.

You can choose who will see your Facebook posts. By default, they are visible to all of your friends. That can be inconvenient if you would prefer not to share your private life with some of them.

You may already have changed this setting and made your posts publicly available. Remember that information from your posts can be used against you. For example, information about your personal life can help telephone fraudsters craft a convincing story to fool you into giving them access to your bank account.

You can choose the following access settings for your posts:

  • Public — posts are visible to all Facebook users and visitors to your page who are not registered on the social network.
  • Friends — posts are visible to friends only.
  • Friends except… — posts are visible to all friends except those listed.
  • Specific friends — posts are visible to friends on the list only.
  • Only me — posts are visible to no one but you.
  • Custom — posts are visible to Facebook users located in a specific place, for example, in your city. Facebook itself generates these lists and suggests them to you depending on your place of work or geolocation.

To configure the default visibility of your posts:

  1. Tap the menu icon in the upper right corner of the app;
  2. Select Settings & Privacy;
  3. Open Settings;
  4. Go to the Privacy Settings section;
  5. Tap Check a few important settings;
  6. Select Who can see what you share;
  7. Tap Continue and then Next. Tap Next. You will be taken to the Posts and Stories tab;
  8. Tap the drop-down menu to the right of Future Posts and Stories;
  9. Specify which group of users shall see your posts by default.

Remember that you can still override the general settings and change the visibility of each post when publishing it or later.

  1. To restrict the visibility of a post when it is created:
  2. Tap the button under your name;
  3. Choose the user group you want to see your post/
  4. To configure the visibility of a post already published:
  5. Tap the button with three dots to the right of the post title;
  6. Select Edit Privacy;
  7. Choose the user group you want to see your post.

Earlier versions of the Facebook apps for some types of devices did not include a function for restricting the visibility of posts, but you can still customize their visibility.

To set the visibility of posts created in older versions of the app:

  1. Tap the menu icon in the upper right corner of the app;
  2. Select Settings & Privacy;
  3. Open Settings;
  4. Go to the Apps and Websites section;
  5. Tap Old versions of Facebook for mobile;
  6. Specify which user group can view your posts by default.

Note that people you mention or tag in a post will see it even if you set the Only me option.

Limit access to stories

What for: So your stories are visible only to those for whom they are intended.

Other Facebook users can see your stories and share them with their friends, so your personal information might become available to outsiders, and details from stories could be exploited.

You can set the following levels of story visibility in Facebook:

  • Public — any Facebook or Messenger user can view your stories.
  • Friends and connections — only your Facebook friends and Messenger contacts can view your stories.
  • Friends — only your Facebook friends can view your stories.
  • Custom list — you stories are visible only to Facebook users on this list.
  • Hide story from — your story is visible to all users except those listed.

To limit access to stories:

  1. Tap the menu icon in the upper right corner of the app;
  2. Select Settings & Privacy;
  3. Open Settings;
  4. Go to the Story Settings section;
  5. Tap Story Privacy;
  6. Select a group of users who will be able to view your story.
  7. Tap Change.
  8. Go back to the Story Settings section and select Sharing Options;
  9. Tap Allow others to share your public stories to their own story? and select the check mark next to No.
  10. Tap Allow people to share your stories if you mention them? and select the check mark next to Don’t allow.

You can also configure visibility of specific stories.

To limit the visibility of a story at the time of posting:

  1. After choosing a photo or video for your story, tap Privacy in the lower left corner of the screen;
  2. Select a group of users who will be able to view your story.

To limit the visibility of a story already posted:

  1. Select Your story at the top of your news feed;
  2. Tap the three dots button in the upper right corner of the screen;
  3. Select Edit Story Settings;
  4. Tap Story Privacy;
  5. Select a group of users who will be able to view your story.


How not to expose your personal data

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Configure visibility of your profile data

What for: To protect yourself from spammers and other shady people.

Cybercriminals can use information from your profile to do all kinds of unpleasant things. For example, they can bombard your phone number with spam calls or text messages. Also, contacts from your social network profile in combination with certain publicly available information about your life can be a treasure trove for bad actors who can try to defraud you financially. Detailed information about your job or interests helps them contrive more persuasive stories.

By default, your phone number is visible to all of your friends. Friends of your friends can see your date of birth. Meanwhile, information about your city, place of study, and work is public.

To hide this information:

  1. Tap the menu icon in the upper right corner of the app;
  2. Select Settings & Privacy;
  3. Open Settings;
  4. Go to the Privacy Settings section;
  5. Tap Check a few important settings;
  6. Select Who can see what you share;
  7. Tap Continue.You will be taken to the Profile tab;
  8. Set the visibility of each item of personal information to Only me.

After configuration, you can see how your profile looks to other users. To do so:

  1. Tap the menu icon in the upper right corner of the app;
  2. Select See your profile;
  3. Tap the three dots button under your profile image;
  4. Tap the View As button.

Downside: Your friends may have trouble locating your Facebook profile or contacting you by phone.


How to get rid of unwanted notifications

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Turn off unnecessary notifications

What for: To avoid distractions.

By default, Facebook sends you notifications about all social network activities, including game and app alerts and information about nearby hangouts. If the notifications bother you, disable some or all of them.

To manage the notifications:

  1. Tap the menu icon in the upper right corner of the app;
  2. Select Settings & Privacy;
  3. Open Settings;
  4. Go to the Notification Settings section;
  5. Select the listed notifications that you do not wish to receive and disable the Allow notifications on Facebook feature.
  6. Some types of notifications don’t have a single switch, so turn off the Push, Email, and SMS switches separately.

Privacy level
?

Relaxed

Basic privacy settings, maximum convenience.


Medium

A golden mean respecting privacy matters but preserving convenience.


Tight

A choice of security over convenience; instructions contain a lot of details.

Relaxed
Medium
Tight
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