For a long time, there have been questions around Facebook’s privacy policies, whether it’s about tracking your location, collecting your data for personalized ads and third-party sellers, or, whether you actually own any of the content you post on your page (more specifically, your pictures). The quick answer? No, you’ll be happy to know you own your pictures. Facebook has no claim over them. Facebook states in their policy: “You own all of the content and information you post on Facebook.” However, let’s look at how you can protect yourself on Facebook and stop these notions of stealing and ownership from being an issue.
First of all, let’s cover some of the basics. The most simple thing you can do to protect your privacy is to make your page private. There are no good arguments against doing this. People are still able to search for and find you, you don’t disappear from Facebook, but what it does do is hide all your important and personal information from complete strangers.
The easiest way to do this is to open your settings on Facebook, and under Privacy choose Privacy settings and then ‘Check a few important settings’. This allows you to change who sees your email address, birthday, where you live, where you went to school, and who can see the people you’re friends with. You may not think these things are important to hide but they are; your email is used for everything, whether that be setting up accounts or the place where new password requests are sent. Having your email private means it’s being protected on Facebook from those who may want to scam you. Having your birthday visible to only people you trust is also a good idea. Again, your birthday is used for a myriad of accounts and logins; having it available to see only to people you trust protects you that much more.
The next step in the ‘Check a few important settings’ is who can see your posts. Now, you can’t change who has seen your posts in the past, but you can protect yourself from now on and in the future by changing that setting to only friends. If you’re one to post about your day, or happy or sad events because you want to let your friends know (but you’re settings are public) you’re allowing anyone to view these details about you. They could learn your routine, figure out where you live, anything! To protect yourself, and change that setting to friends only.
The final step is blocking. Now, not everyone may have people they need to block and that’s great. However, if you don’t want certain people checking up on you, or seeing any information about you or what you post, you should definitely add them to the block list. Blocking people allows your page that extra level of protection and you can be sure they won’t see anything you don’t want them to. And one of the best bits about blocking someone is they’ll never know that you have! Isn’t it great? You can also unblock people at your leisure, so it’s not permanent if you don’t want it to be.
Protecting your pictures
Since you came here looking for questions about your pictures, the same protection above can be applied to the photos you post. No matter the social media image sizes, your pictures are your own. When you limit who sees your posts, that includes any pictures you post too!
So there you have it, the easiest ways to protect yourself on Facebook. And hey, if you’re still worried about your posts being owned by Facebook, you can always go and block them, they’ll never know.