My sister-in-law has just joined Facebook. (Hi, sis!) She asked me if she could manage who sees photos she puts up of the kids. She doesn’t feel it’s safe for the entire world to see them. Smart move.
How do you do that though? It’s built into Facebook’s privacy settings, but as Facebook gives us more control over privacy settings, they’re also getting more confusing. Let’s look at how to set privacy settings for photo albums.
Get to your privacy setting page.
In the upper right corner of your Facebook screen, click on the word Settings and you’ll see a list of links in the drop down menu. Click Privacy Settings and you’ll be taken to the top level of your privacy settings. From here, select Profile and you should see your basic profile setting page like the image below.
From here, look for the link called Edit Photo Albums Privacy Settings and click it. (See the red arrow in the image above.)
Managing Privacy of Your Photo Albums
You should see all the albums you’ve uploaded so far to Facebook. Each of them has a “Who can see this?” box next to it with your current settings on a per album basis. Click on the drop down menu and you’ll see the options you have.
- Everyone means, well, everyone who has made a Facebook can see this album.
- My Networks and Friends means anyone in your network, can see these photos, plus anyone you’re set as a friend and friends of friends. You can check what networks you belong to from the top right navigation on Facebook; choose Settings > Account Settings > Networks.
- Friends of Friends means people you’ve marked as friends plus anyone that any of your friends has added as a friend.
- Only Friends mean only the people you’ve marked as friends can see the contents of the album.
- And finally, Customize… is where you can really start to fine-tune who can see your photos.
Digging in the dirt of the Privacy settings
When you select Customize there are some things that weren’t available earlier. You can now select Only Me but basic enough that I won’t cover it. If you select Some Friends you’ll be able to enter in the names of friends from your Facebook profile you’d like to allow to see your albums. The Facebook page even starts to guess at the names from your address book whlle you’re typing. Very handy! If that’s all you wanted to do, hit Okay and then be sure to press Save on the main photo album page to make your new setting are actually recorded.
If you were interested in excluding some people from seeing some photos, Facebook is not going to make you add a hundred or more people to an album just to exclude that crazy person you should never have let on your friends list. (Thanks, Facebook!) At the bottom of the Photo Album Privacy setting is an Except These People area. Just start entering the people who shouldn’t see this album.
It’s important to note that these settings are in addition to the setting above it in this dialog box. For example, if you have an album set to Everyone and added my name to your Except These People list, everyone who has a Facebook account except me could view your photos. If you choose to do that though, don’t tell me. It would hurt my feelings.
I didn’t make a screen shot of it, but you can also exclude or include certain Networks of people in this same box. I don’t find the Networks settings very useful though, so I tend to ignore them. For example, my Network is New York. I find that a useless distinction when it comes to managing my Facebook account so I just never mess with my Network settings. Your results may vary.