Two steps to control who can see what you do on their Facebook ticker

A message has been copied and pasted on thousands of walls in the last couple of days, urging users to individually unsubscribe to "comments and likes" on friends' profiles. The message seen most often is:

Hello Facebook Friends. I would like to keep my FB private except to those I am friends with. So if you all would do the following, I'd appreciate it. With the new FB timeline on its way this week for EVERYONE. . . please do both of us a favor: Hover over my name above. In a few seconds you'll see a box that says "Subscribed". Hover over that, then go to "Comments and Likes" and unclick it and Games. That will stop my posts and yours to me from showing up on the side bar for everyone to see, but most importantly it limits hackers from invading our profiles. If you repost this and let me know, I will be happy to do the same for you. You'll know I've acknowledged you because if you tell me that you've done it I'll "like" it. Thank you.

The Facebook chain spreads some misinformation and doesn't actually fix the problem it proposes.

  • If you go through the process of unsubscribing from "comments and likes," it only hides the updates from you. It doesn't actually stop broadcasting them from everyone.
  • Even if you were just trying to hide them, you'd have to repeat the process with each and every one of your Facebook friends. With people having an average of 130 Facebook friends, that's a pretty time-consuming process.

Instead, the real solution to make your status updates, likes and comments more private is much simpler.

  1. Click on the arrow next to your name in the upper right hand corner of Facebook and choose "Privacy Settings."
  2. Set your default privacy to "Friends."

This way, only friends can see your activity on Facebook and not friends of friends or any other users. You could also choose custom and choose "only me" if you don't want ANYONE to see your activity in the ticket. You will have to remember to make your posts (the pictures, status updates and other information you post on your wall/timeline) available for others to see by using the dropdown in the status update box to choose who you want to be able to see that particular material.

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