Facebook

Maximum Privacy: Tips on how to be "invisible" on Facebook

About 75% of Facebook users are concerned about how Facebook manages their data. If you fall into this group, you can refer to the company's privacy settings and policies for a solution. The majority of those options are there to help you protect your data from other users.

But what if you wanted a way to be invisible on Facebook and avoid this social media platform from tracking and using your user data? There are certain limitations on how invisible you can be on Facebook. Fortunately, you still have some control over the privacy settings. Such as, turning off active status, going private, clearing data, and keeping location turned off.

Can I make my Facebook 100% private?

You can make your Facebook account private and protect your personal information from other contacts. The platform is pretty serious about maintaining your privacy from others. So, going private would solve most of your problems.

Unfortunately, there is no way to guarantee 100% invisibility from the social media platform itself. Facebook often has access to most of your personal information and data. There are little to no privacy settings to avoid it from doing so.

Limits to Privacy on Facebook

There are certain limitations on how private your profile can be on the Facebook platform. With some efforts and tweaks, you will be able to obtain maximum privacy from other users on Facebook's app and website.

But from Facebook itself? You cannot stay hidden as much as you'd want. By limiting interactions like commenting under posts or sharing posts on Messenger or apps, you can avoid Facebook's radar to an extent.

Another limitation to privacy on Facebook is that nothing can protect you from being temporarily restricted. Furthermore, you cannot remain unrestricted from Facebook if reported. The account can be reported by the people in your friend list or contacts for several reasons. Unknown people can also report it as spam.

In the next few segments, we will be discussing how to be invisible on Facebook by reducing or limiting your exposure to the platform.

How to Clear Your Data From Facebook?

While signing up for any social media platform, users are first asked whether they agree with the terms and conditions of the platform. Most of us choose to ignore clauses mentioned in those conditions that allow the platform to store your personal data.

The same happens with Facebook also. Facebook asks for your consent to permanently store your data which you have to agree to if you want to access the platform. There is no escaping from this.

When it comes to deleting your data from Facebook, you will not be able to delete the information in its entirety.

You can still go to your account and clear your data:

  1. Your account (downward arrow at the top right corner) then Settings and Privacy

    How to clear your data from Facebook (Step 1): Go to "Settings and Privacy"

  2. Now select Settings

    How to clear your data from Facebook (Step 2): Select "Settings"

  3. From the settings menu, choose Your Facebook information

    How to clear your data from Facebook (Step 3): Choose "Your Facebook information"

  4. Then select Access your information

    How to clear your data from Facebook (Step 4): Select "Access your information"

Here, you will see a set of data under categories such as Location, Search History, Payment History, Apps and website, etc.

You can choose whatever information you wish to remove from this list. But, unfortunately, some information is going to stay with Facebook.

Switch off the green dot / "Active now" status.

Your status will be "Active Now" as soon as you enter the Facebook or Messenger app/website. This online status is indicated by the green dot which appears right beside your name on the Facebook Messenger app. You can find details on what the green dot means here.

It indicates to everyone who is connected to you that you are online or active now. It might not be what you want, especially if you plan to increase your account privacy and be invisible. Below are the steps to switch off your "active now" status from the facebook app:

  1. If you use an Android device, tap the menu icon (3 horizontal lines) in the top right corner. The menu icon will be in the bottom right corner if you're using an iOS device.

  2. Find Settings & Privacy by scrolling down.

    How to disable "Active Now" (Step 2): Scroll to "Settings & Privacy"

  3. Select Settings from the drop-down menu.

    How to disable "Active Now" (Step 3): Select "Settings"

  4. Scroll down to Active Status in the Privacy section.

    How to disable "Active Now" (Step 4): Scroll to "Active Status" in "Privacy"

  5. Switch off the Show when you're active

    How to disable "Active Now" (Step 5): Switch off "Show when you're active"

  6. Confirm with a tap on TURN OFF.

    How to disable "Active Now" (Step 6): Confirm with "Turn off"

Using Audience Selector for Posts

The audience selection feature can be found in most areas on Facebook where you share content, such as status updates, images, and videos. It allows you to limit the number of people that see your post and who can share it on Facebook. This increases your privacy.

Unless you modify it when you post, this feature stores the people with whom you have shared previously with and uses it for your future posting. You can also find the audience selector tool in locations like your Privacy Settings and Privacy Shortcuts. This tool also appears next to posts you've previously shared.

Note: When you post something to another person's Facebook Timeline, that user decides who can see it. Also, you can avoid sharing with people you don't want by making a custom friends list.

Make your friends list private

You can control who has access to your Facebook friends list. To do so:

  1. Log In to your account if you haven't already.

  2. Click on the downward triangle in the right corner.

    Make your friends list on Facebook private (Step 2): Open the context menu

  3. A drop-down menu will appear from there; click on Settings & privacy.

  4. Now select Settings.

    Make your friends list on Facebook private (Step 4): Select the "Settings" menu item

  5. Click on Privacy from the sidebar which is at the left side of the screen.

    Make your friends list on Facebook private (Step 5): Click on "Privacy"

  6. From the How People Can Find and Contact You section, click on the "Who can see your friends list".

    Make your friends list on Facebook private (Step 6): In "How People Can Find and Contact You" select "Who can see your friends list"

  7. Now click on the button and from the drop-down menu select Only me.

    Make your friends list on Facebook private (Step 7): Select "Only me"

This will limit the people who can view your friend list to your preference, but it's not 100% effective. Unknown people can still guess who your friends are by looking at your mutual friend's list or by checking the photos you are tagged in.

Don't comment on posts of others and disable comments on your posts

If you would like to avoid Facebook's radar, then a good suggestion would be to stop commenting on any posts at all. Disable all comments from your posts as well. Why? Because Facebook can't collect much of your data if you don't share or interact with things and people on the platform. Just keep in mind, they can still track the videos you watch and any other accounts you have linked to your Facebook account. Here's how you can do it:

  1. Pick the post you want to edit and tap on the ellipsis (3 dots) that appear right beside it.

  2. Select "Who can comment on your post?"

    Disable Comments on your Facebook Post (Step 2): Select "Who can comment on your post?"

  3. Three options should pop up from which you can pick as per your preference and tap Done.

    Disable Comments on your Facebook Post (Step 3): Choose your preferred option and confirm

This will hide your posts from certain people on Facebook as well as disable comments for them.

Summary

Unfortunately, Facebook and complete privacy are like parallel lines that never intersect. You can use the tips in this article to be somewhat invisible on Facebook and prevent it from collecting some of your data. But the only foolproof way to maintain 100% privacy would be to delete your account.