Tag Archives: Facebook Privacy

How to Keep Your Facebook Account Safe

Oct 2018 Update for Mobile Apps: you can make your friend list private using either Android or iOS Facebook app.

  1. Tap the 3-line menu (bottom-right of the iOS app, top-right of Android) Scroll down and tap Settings & Privacy
  2. tap Settings,
  3. in the Privacy section tap Privacy Settings, scroll down to “How people find and contact you”
  4. there you will see “Who can see your friends list?” tap on that and choose “Only Me.”

You’re done! You can back out of settings with the left arrow at the top left, or tap the newsfeed button.

You hear a lot of scare stories about people getting “hacked” on Facebook.  Here’s the latest one I heard from a friend of mine:

Three friends of mine have had imposters make up Facebook accounts using their names, profile picture, and other information that was public on their page. Then, they harvested my friends’ public list of friends, and sent fake friend requests to them, instructing them to delete the “old” (REAL) accounts due to some phony made up computer problem. In the most recent, the imposter claimed the real account was lost to a Trojan on her Facebook. There is no such thing as a Trojan on Facebook but many people fell for it anyway. In every case…the imposter took the profile of a female friend in her late 50s or early 60s who is very trustworthy, admired, and who has friends who also look trustworthy (trusting!) and in every case, was able to convince people to befriend the imposter account.

The easy way to prevent the above scam from happening to you is to make your Friend List private.  These instructions are for a computer – see the update above for mobile app instructions. Here’s a tutorial video for members: 398. Facebook – Keeping Friends Private

  1. View your Profile and click on the tab for Friends
  2. At the top right of your friend list, you’ll see a pencil icon – click on that and choose Edit Privacy
  3. Under “Who can See My Friend List” click the dropdown arrow and choose anything but Public.  I recommend “Friends except Acquaintances”, but you may even want to make it “Just Me.”
  4. Here is the official Facebook help page on “Who can see my Friends Section of my Timeline?

And, as long as you’re looking into your Facebook settings, let’s look at a few more, ok?


There are three areas of your Facebook account settings that need your regular attention.


General: Check your email address here and make sure it is current.  You should also add at least one alternate email address in case you have a problem with the primary one.  To add your mobile phone, use the Mobile menu item.

Security and Login:  This is where you can change your password.  Whenever there is any hint of a problem with your Facebook account, like you suspect an impostor is trying to take over, you should immediately change your password.

Think of these settings like the locks and alarm system on your house.  You don’t want unauthorized people to get into your account, and you want want to hear about any attempts. Under Login approvals, check the box to require Two Factor Authentication. This adds a double-lock, like another deadbolt with a separate key.  Now, whenever you login from any computer or browser other than your norm, after entering your password, you will be asked for another code – one that is delivered to you on your phone.  This adds a little bit of hassle, but it will stop an intruder dead in their tracks.  Even if they know your username and password, since they don’t have your phone they won’t know the extra security code. Note: you must provide your cell phone number in the Mobile section of your account settings.


Privacy: The settings in this area describe “Who Can See Your Stuff?” I show you my settings in the screenshot below.  You should look at each one and be sure you are comfortable with how it is set.  Here is the official Facebook help page on Privacy settings.


Geeks on Tour members should also watch the tutorial video about the audience selector and how you can choose who can see each thing you post.

What do other people see when they view your Facebook timeline?  (Oct 2018 note: this feature was disabled after hackers exploited it in September, hopefully it will come back)  It’s easy to find out.  Just go to your Timeline by clicking on your name in the upper right – or clicking on your profile picture anywhere. Now you should see “View Activity Log” at the top right with 3 dots after that.  Click the 3 dots and then choose “View As…”  That will tell Facebook to treat you like a member of the Public and show you what they would see.  You can also choose a particular person and see your Timeline as they would see it.


This is a great way to check if your settings are the way you want.  If you followed the instructions at the beginning of this article, you should now be able to click on Friends, and you won’t see any!

Thanks to Debby Bradford for the info and push to make this post.

January Newsletter: TechnoGeek Learning Rally, Facebook Privacy, Smartphone Cameras

Geeks on Tour

Florida in January

Sunset on Siesta Key in Sarasota.  Jim's birthday 2013
Sunset on Siesta Key in Sarasota. Jim’s birthday 2013

We are enjoying traveling around Florida this winter.  We see beautiful sunrises when we’re on the east coast, and sunsets on the west!  Besides being a beautiful sunset, you may notice something extra special about this picture if you click on it to enlarge.  It has a little extra depth and sharpness that Picasa’s HDRish tool gave it.  If you’re a Geeks on Tour Member you can watch a tutorial video on how HDRish works.  If you’re not a member, why not?!  It’s only $7/mo or $58/yrly.  Join Today!

Get Away Stay Connected: This tagline from our Coach Connect days describes our lifestyle.  We love to get away, but we also love to stay connected.  Usually that means using our computer, but since Florida was our home for so long, it also means face-to-face connections with old friends and colleagues while we’re here.  This time, while in Fort Lauderdale, we decided to re-join our Toastmasters group.  Both Jim and I were very active in Toastmasters for many years before we hit the road.  We’ve even visited one club outside of our area during our first year of traveling.  We’d like to do more of that – Toastmaster’s meetings are so enjoyable, uplifting, and educational.  It is an international organization with groups everywhere we go.  It’s good to be a member again.

Calendar: Coming up in February/March

technogeek_learning_rally_largeRegistration is open for our third TechnoGeek Learning Rally in Bushnell, Florida March 26-30.  Come learn about lots of technology to enhance your RVing lifestyle!  Geeks on Tour Members get a 20% discount.  Hey!  That’s another reason to Join Today.  The rally is 5 days, including 4 breakfasts and 3 dinners.  There is an optional 2-day pre-rally focusing on smartphones, and an included 2 days post-rally Homework Help.

If it looks like we’re in your area, contact us to come to your RV park!  See our Frequently Asked Question: How Can I Get the Geeks to Come to My RV Park?

For more details, see our website Calendar.  

Forum Topics

The Q&A Forums on the Geeks on Tour website are a great place to discuss the topics we cover.  This is where we answer our members’ questions.  Anyone can read the forums, you need to be a member to post.   Here are some topics of interest:

  1. Upload Picture from Picasa to Facebook Group? 
  2. Combining Photo Albums in Facebook
  3. Moving Pictures to a New PC – what will I lose? (scroll to bottom for new posts)
  4. Discuss the WiFi Ranger (scroll to bottom for new posts)
  5. Picasa to Facebook Uploader Pro
  6. Problems inserting image in Blogger
  7. Streets and Trips with Windows 8
  8. Shutterfly and Email

TechnoGeek Learning Rally

Kathy and John exercise their SmartphonespicasaOnsite help.The amazing Vanstones - Larry and Marilyn (www.amazingvanstones.com)

You should attend the Learning Rally if … ..

  • You’ve attended any Geeks on Tour seminars and left wanting more.
  • You’ve bought some cool gadgets from www.TechnoRV.com and want to learn more about using them.  Or you want to buy more.
  • You have multiple computers, smartphones, tablets, cameras … yet you still consider yourself a beginner with computers and technology.
  • You are an RVer.  We hold the rally at an RV park! We also will teach about technology and gadgets specifically for RVing.
  • You just love learning new stuff!
  • You have lots of questions about using your technology.  We will have 3 sessions of open Q&A with our panel of TechnoGeeks!
  • You’d like to show your kids something … that they didn’t teach you!
  • You’ve looked at the schedule and like what you see. tentative daily schedule
  • You’ve looked at the menu and you’re getting hungry.  Rally Menu from last rally.
  • You want to compare notes with other RVers about their smartphones, Internet connections, email issues, photo-sharing options, RV gadgets, etc.
  • You’d like to attend a small RV rally, where there’s ample opportunity to get to know people, share meals, learn, and party.
  • You’ve been to a TechnoGeek Learning Rally before and you want more!

When: March 26-30 with optional free ‘Homework Help’ days after rally and optional 2 day Smartphone Learning Camp pre-rally.

Where: Bushnell, Florida.  Paradise Oaks RV Park.

Cost: Rally: $149/person limit 40 
          Smartphone Pre-Rally: $79/person limit 10
          20% discount for paid Geeks on Tour members

RV Site: Rally rate is $25/night, not included in registration. 
             Call Call Paradise Oaks at 352-793-1823.

Register Now

11 am Checkout Time?

Chuck Woodbury of RVtravel.com doesn’t like to checkout of an RV park so early!   
Read Chuck’s article and tell him what you think at the current issue of RVTravel’s Newsletter. Also take a look at his video of the HUGE Quartzsite RV show.


Do Me a Favor … Don’t Listen to your Friends on Facebook!

Overhearing Telephone Conversation In Office

When you get a Facebook message that starts with “I want to stay PRIVATELY connected with you…” you should know that the instructions that follow are pure nonsense.  Don’t do it when it tells you to find your Friend settings and “REMOVE the CHECK on "COMMENTS & LIKE" and also "PHOTOS”  By unchecking those boxes all you’ve done is cut yourself off from receiving your friend’s photos, comments and likes.  It has NO bearing on who else can see their posts, but it is a worthy lesson in how Facebook privacy works.  Read on and I will explain what is going on as well as tell you the right way to stay PRIVATELY connected – it’s a lot easier than removing checkmarks on all your Friends’ settings!

Read the Rest of this Article …

Getting the Most from Your Smartphone’s Camera

More and more, people are using their smartphones to capture all the pictures in their lives.  Many of them don’t know that there are special settings and features that will help them take better pictures.  And, once the pictures are taken, there are lots of ways to share them.

Read the rest of this Article …


Geeks on Tour Members learn with tutorial videosBecome a Geeks on Tour Member! And learn from our online library of Tutorial Videos Facebook, Picasa, Photo Story 3, Smartphones, Streets & Trips, Google Earth/Maps, Blogging, Boot Camp Class, Vista/Windows 7, Internet on the Road, Safe Computing only $7/monthly $58/yearly or $68 one year = access to ALL videos plus the Forums. Click here to Join

Do Me a Favor … Don’t Listen to your Friends on Facebook!

Overhearing Telephone Conversation In OfficeWhen you get a Facebook message that starts with “I want to stay PRIVATELY connected with you…” you should know that the instructions that follow are pure nonsense.  Don’t do it when it tells you to find your Friend settings and “REMOVE the CHECK on "COMMENTS & LIKE" and also "PHOTOS”  By unchecking those boxes all you’ve done is cut yourself off from receiving your friend’s photos, comments and likes.  It has NO bearing on who else can see their posts, but it is a worthy lesson in how Facebook privacy works.  Read on and I will explain what is going on as well as tell you the right way to stay PRIVATELY connected – it’s a lot easier than removing checkmarks on all your Friends’ settings!

Understanding Who Can See What

What your friend needs to do to “stay privately connected” is to set their Audience Selector to just Friends or a specific Friend list.  Each time you post something in Facebook, you have the option of changing the ‘Visibility’ of what you post, choosing Friends means it is visible to only Friends, choosing Public means it is visible to anyone, choosing a list like ‘High School Friends’ limits the visibility to just the members of that list.  You can also change it after the fact.  Geeks on Tour members can view the video: Facebook Privacy to learn more about the Audience Selector.


Check it Out

Go to Facebook right now and take a look at the posts in your Newsfeed/Home page.  For each and every one, you can tell who can see it by looking at the little icon at the bottom of the post, before any comments.  If you see the circular globe icon then you know that the Public … anyone … can view that post.  If you see the icon of ‘Friends’ (two little heads) then this post is visible to just the original poster’s Friends.  Now, notice that comments do not have the audience icon next to them.  Comments can be seen by whoever can see the original post – no more, no less. 



Some Truth in the Hoax

The weird part comes when Facebook shows you any comments that your friends have made on other’s posts.  If the post they commented on was a Public post, then it could easily be by someone you don’t know.  You’ll wonder, “why in the world am I seeing this post by John King, when I don’t know John King!”  You’re seeing it (probably in your ticker on the right of your screen) because a friend of yours commented on John King’s public post.  When Facebook shows you your friend’s comments, they’ll show you the original post and all other comments as well so you have the context.  I agree that this is weird, it’s like automatic eavesdropping.  But the way to stop eavesdropping is to talk on a private connection, not to broadcast publicly and simply ask the eavesdroppers to stay away! 

The Real Solution

If John King doesn’t want his post being seen by non-friends like you, the solution is NOT to ask all his friends to unsubscribe to his comments!  The solution is for John King (and all of us) to post to Friends only.  Facebook will not show you your friend’s comment if it was on a post that is visible to only John King’s friends.  Remember?  A comment has the same visibility as the post.  If the post is shared with Friends only, then the comments can only be shared with Friends  of the original poster.  If you “WANT TO STAY PRIVATELY CONNECTED ….”  then use the privacy setting of Friends only.  You should see the 2 little heads on all of your posts – image. or a star icon that represents Close Friends or other list image.   You should not see the icon for Public: imageor the icon for Friends of Friends image

You can even ask Facebook to change ALL your past posts to be shared with only Friends, regardless of how you set it when you posted.  Just go to your privacy settings and use the ‘Limit the Audience for Old Posts on Your Timeline.’  I used to post generally to Public, after all, I’m saying much of the same things on Facebook that I readily write on my public Blog?!  But, I’ve changed my mind now.  The purpose of Facebook, for me, is to communicate with my friends.  There is simply no reason for my communication to be seen by others.  So I have taken advantage of the feature to change all my old posts to Friends only.

Details of the Hoax

favorAs with most Hoaxes, this one has been around a while and just gets recycled with different words.  When I first noticed it last summer, it started with the telltale words, “PLEASE DO ME A FAVOR …”  then it proceeded to instruct you to UNsubscribe to comments and likes.  The language has now been updated to adapt to new language and procedures in Facebook.  Here is the complete message:

Hello, my FB friends: I want to stay PRIVATELY connected with you. I post shots of my family that I don’t want strangers to have access to!! However, with the recent changes in FB, the "public" can now see activities in ANY wall. This happens when our friend hits "like" or "comment" ~ automatically, their friends would see our posts too. Unfortunately, we can not change this setting by ourselves because Facebook has configured it this 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 "COMMENTS & LIKE" and also "PHOTOS". 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.

  1. “the "public" can now see activities in ANY wall”
    Absolutely not true. If you post to "only friends" – then only friends can see it, period.

  2. “REMOVE the CHECK on "COMMENTS & LIKE" and also "PHOTOS". By doing this, my activity among my friends and family will no longer become public.”
    Not true. If I uncheck comments and photos from your name, all it means is that I will no longer receive your photos or comments in my Timeline or Ticker. If the original post had the visibility of Public, it will still be visible by the Public.  The solution is to simply change the Audience Selector to Friends.

What is happening here is the writer of this “I WANT TO STAY PRIVATELY CONNECTED …” message is confusing what CAN be seen, with what WILL be seen.  They may have been using the Public visibility all along, so anyone COULD have seen what they wrote, but they didn’t because they would need to visit the poster’s Timeline, something we don’t do very often.  Since Facebook started delivering our Friends’ comments, we are seeing content that we never looked at before.  We could have seen it before, but we didn’t.  It’s true that we can’t stop the fact that Facebook is delivering this content – unless EVERYONE unchecks the subscribe to comments feature on ALL of their Friends – but, it’s clear that the way to protect our own content is to make it private to just our Friends, or to a specific list of Friends.  If you have a lot of friends, you may want to limit many of your posts to just your Close Friends for example.  See member video on Facebook Friend Lists.

And, if you don’t believe me, check out these other articles on this topic:

How to Block Annoying Facebook Apps

Fullscreen capture 932011 105351 AMWhen we presented our Facebook seminar to a packed room at the Escapade RV Rally this week, we got the most applause for teaching how to block Apps, so we thought it would be a good topic for a newsletter aticle!  If you’ve used Facebook for any length of time, you’ve probably been annoyed by games and other apps that your friends may be playing.  Many of my friends, for example, were playing Farmville.  My Facebook home page was quickly overrun with invitations to play Farmville, and notices when a friend’s crop was doing well, or a pig needed some more corn?!  I didn’t want to unfriend a person just because they were playing this game.  Who am I to say what game they should or shouldn’t play?  But, I really didn’t want all those notices on my News Feed.

Hiding Posts about an App vs. Blocking the App

I found the X at the right side of one of these posts and saw the ability to Hide just posts related to the Farmville game.  That worked fine, but the folks at Facebook have made it even better.  Just this week, Facebook made a lot of changes to the way you manage your privacy settings.  One thing is that they’ve given us the ability to completely block specified apps.  Just like you can UNfriend a person, or UNlike a company, you can now Block an App.  Farmville, and many other games are Apps. You’ll find the Block option in the same place on the App’s page as UNfriend on a personal profile, or UNlike on a business page – at the bottom of the left sidebar of the App in question.

So, here’s what you do:  Find one of the offending posts in your newsfeed.  If you look closely at the line underneath the game, you’ll see a link to the Application responsible.  It is usually right after the word ‘via.’  Clicking that link will take you directly to the page for that App/Game.  If you look at the left sidebar, at the bottom, you’ll see ‘Block this App.’

Managing your Block Lists

If you ever want to UNBlock an App, or you just want to see what Apps you have blocked so far, you can manage your Block lists on your Acccount.  Just click on Account and then Privacy Settings.  You’ll see Block Lists at the bottom.