Wednesday, February 6, 2013

How to Keep Your Facebook Page Private


Want to keep your Facebook photos and information PRIVATE?  Have you ever gotten one of these posts on your Facebook page, asking you to keep your friend's photos and information private ...       

  It goes something like this:

     COMMENTS. The next 2 weeks I will be posting this, and please once you have done it please post 
     "DONE"! Those of you who do not keep my information from going out to the public, I will have to 
     DELETE YOU! I want to stay PRIVATELY connected with you. I post shots of my family that I don't 
     want  strangers to have access to!!! This happens when our friends click "like" or "comment"... 
     Automatically, their friends would see our posts too. Unfortunately, we cannot change this setting
     by ourselves because Facebook has configured it that way. 

     PLEASE place your mouse over my name above (DO NOT CLICK), a window will appear, now move 
     the mouse on “FRIENDS" (also without clicking), then down to "Settings", click here and a list will 
     appear. REMOVE the CHECK on "LIFE EVENTS" and "COMMENTS & LIKES". By doing this, my activity 
     among my friends and family will no longer become public. Now, copy and paste this on your wall. 
     Once I see this posted on your page, I will do the same.....

Well, there's Bad news and Good news! 
The bad news is: Facebook is a Public Forum. Your Facebook posts will not be private, unless you stop "Liking" or commenting on your friends posts, photos and information.  The above suggestion, which asks friends to go change the settings, only lessens the number of your posts; forcing friends to manually visit your page, to see what you've been up to! Your posts may not show up on their wall, but it will show up on yours! Every time you "Like" or "Comment" on a friends post, in your news-feed; all of their friends can see the comment too; even if they are complete strangers to you.  This includes posting directly to someone's wall. Have you ever noticed, when clicking on a popular photo, (to enlarge it); the string of comments, from complete strangers... sometimes from other countries?  Have you ever noticed, when wishing someone a "Happy Birthday", on their wall; that you can see all the posts from strangers, who have also wished them a Happy Birthday?  Your Facebook Page is NOT a private forum!  It was not created to be private forum, and asking your friends to click on a lot of settings, will not accomplish the level of privacy that your desire... it will only end in frustration.

The good news is, that Facebook has created something called "GROUPS".  When you create a Private Group, then only members of the group can see the groups posts.  Groups can be created for family members, for example, who want to stay connected through Facebook; but who do not wish to share their family photos and comments with the general public (ie: their 3,429 best friends on Facebook).  

I have a private Facebook group, that I created about a year ago. Since I have an interest in my Family Geneaology and history; I created a private Family Group.  The members of the group are all family members, on our family tree: such as cousins, grandparents, aunts, and uncles etc...  We can all post information, PDF files, photos and "chat" via. the Family Group Page.  Since many of my family members live in different states / countries; It's like having an ongoing family reunion!  I am able to post things on the Family Group page, that I would not want to post on my Facebook Page (old family photos, exchange of family history and geneaology information, newspaper articles, PDF files with geneaology lineages etc...).  Our Family Group is Private, and in order to become a group member, you need to have an invitation to join!

Here is a tutorial on How to Create your own Private Group, on Facebook:

  • Go to your own Facebook page and click "Home" (located on the top, to the right of your name). You should now see your news feed.
  • On the far left (under your profile picture), you will see a column.  It contains the list of items that pertain to your facebook page.  Scroll down and Look for the word "Groups".  
  • Click on "Create Group"  (see photo below)

A new window will appear.  (See Photo below):

  • Type in a Name for your new Private Group (ie: The Smith Family, The Ya Ya Sisters etc...)
  • Start adding group members by typing in their Facebook names.  Once you start typing, you can just select them from the list that pops up. (note: the new group members must already be friends with you on Facebook). Start with just a few... you can always add more group members later on, at any time.
  • Now, THE IMPORTANT PART:  Select "Secret".  Only members see the group, who's in it, and what members post.
  • Click on "Create"
A New window will appear (below):

  • Choose an icon
  • Click "Okay"
Your new "Private Group" facebook page will open (see sample below):

Above, you will notice "The Smith's Private Family Group" is the name of this sample Facebook page.  The member's photos, will appear at the top of the page, as a "cover photo".  The initial (automated) post, will contain the name and profile picture of the group's creator.  The next automated post, will contain the new member's names and profile photos.  Note:  For the purpose of this blog, names and profile pictures in the above photo have been purposely blurred).

  • Make sure there is a green Check Mark next to the word "Notifications" as seen in the photo above (it is located on the far upper right quadrant, just below the cover photo).  By placing a check mark, you will be notified when a group member posts on the group's page.

Here's a closeup of the "Notifications" check mark (see below):

Next, you will want to add your new Group to your Facebook Favorites List (see photo above):

  • Click on the little florette Settings button (located to the right of the word "Notifications")
  • A drop-down box will appear, as shown above.
  • Click on the words "Add to Favorites"
  • As a future notation: You can always come back and click on this button to add more people to the group (see photo above: first line on drop-down box), create group events, send messages, edit settings and even create another private group!

In the photo below, you can see that this new Group Page has been added to the Favorites List (located on the left column of your own "Home" page).  This will give you easy access to the page, whenever you want.

Now, you are ready to add information and Edit your page settings!

First, you will want to write a description of what your group is about.  

  • Click on the word "About" (in the photo above: look to the right of the Group Name; under the cover photo).
  • The page will change.  Under the cover photo, you will see a little Lock and the words "secret group" ... then the words "Edit Description"
  • Click on the words "Edit Description"  (see below)

In the photo above, you will notice that under the words "Secret Group", a box is available.

As shown in the photo above:

  • Type your Group's description
  • Click on "Save"

The "About" tab:  Review the page, you will find that you are able to ...
  • See all current members and their profile pics
  • Add more group members
  • Send messages to members

The LAST HURDLE: We are almost done!  I promise   :)

Edit your Groups Settings (see photo below):

To Edit your Group's Settings (shown above):
  • Click on the "Settings" button, a drop-down box will appear, as previous
  • Click on "Edit Group Settings" as shown in the photo above

Your page will now look like this (see below):

Scroll down to the section, below the words "secret" (refer to the top of photo, above):
  • Membership Approved:  Click on "any members can add members, but an admin must approve them"  (otherwise, any members can invite the general public).
  • Group address - skip it, for now
  • Description: was already completed in the previous steps
  • Posting Permissions: Click on "only members can post in this group"
  • Post Approval: Leave this Un-checked, or group members will not have the freedom to post anything, without your approval!
  • Click "Save"

Now it's time to have fun!
  • Click on the "Photos" tab, to upload pics and share them with the group
  • Click on the "Events" tab to create Group Events
  • Click on the "Files" Tab to create Group files, or upload PDF's
  • Click on the Name of Your Private Group, to go back to the news-feed page

If you found this tutorial helpful, please let me know by leaving me a comment! (please note: your comments will not show up immediately, I need to approve them first; to avoid spam).

Good Luck with your new Private Facebook Page!


Thistle Cottage

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