Facebook Dos and Don'ts

Follow these easy tips for protecting your privacy on Facebook

Woman and laptop

Make the most of your online network without compromising your security by following these smart safety guidelines.


  • Ignore or turn down a friend request if you don’t know the person. Accepting could be the first step to inviting predators.
  • Make your passwords and security questions and answers obscure. Hackers try to break into financial and other accounts by clicking the “Forgot your password?” link and finding replies to security questions—like your hometown, high school or mother’s maiden name—listed on personal profiles or in posts.
  • Be careful about revealing your exact whereabouts when you check in with Facebook Places (and other location-based services such as Foursquare and Gowalla)—which puts you at risk for tech-savvy burglars. Be particularly wary of posting about future vacations.
  • Become a fan of Facebook Safety (facebook.com/fbsafety) to receive updates about staying safe when the site’s policies change.


  • Assume that friends of friends share a close connection. Some people have more than 1,000 Facebook friends. At the very least, give only your friends access to your birthday, places you check in and contact information.
  • Link your posts to Twitter, which is public and can be retrieved by anyone (unless you change your Twitter privacy settings).
  • Install apps, games or quizzes. Many lead to unsecured third-party sites that gather information about you.
  • Share any photos of your kids or details about their lives, such as the name of their school, unless you’ve selected friends-only access.