In many ways, Facebook has become its own parallel universe. Millions of people use the app on their phones, and more never think to log out. Entire businesses are run through Facebook, and some institutions use a Facebook page instead of an actual website. Despite the many methods of instant communication, Facebook users routinely use Messenger to write or call friends all over the world.
Related: How to make money on Facebook.
But Facebook still has its flukes, and these minor inconveniences can waste time or even embarrass you down the road. Here are five hard-to-figure-out tricks for improving your Facebook experience.
1. Scope out all public photos of you
Facebook is usually pretty careful about tagging photos. When someone tags you in a photo, you receive an alert and you have the option to the remove the tag. But sometimes, in the flurry of online activity, we don’t realize that we’ve been tagged in a photo. Yet there it is, available for anyone to see. Depending on the photo, you may wish to delete it.
To review these photos, the best way is to check your Activity Log. In the Activity Log page, click on "Photos" on the left side column, then "Photos of You."
From here, there are multiple tweaks. To see all your visible public photos, select "Public" on the "Shared with" arrow and select "Visible" on the "On Timeline" arrow then scroll down to review. You may then hide photos from your Timeline or report/remove tags by clicking the pencil icon.
2. Log out of Facebook remotely
There are a hundred reasons you may log onto Facebook on an unfamiliar computer. Maybe your phone died and your friend offered you his laptop. Maybe you’re traveling and you decided to check your social media accounts in an internet café. All standard operating procedures. But it’s also a security hazard and could land you in a world of trouble.
Thankfully, Facebook enables you to log out of all your sessions remotely. By the way, this is also a handy trick to see if someone is accessing your Facebook account without your knowledge.
On the desktop version of Facebook, click the little drop down arrow on the upper-right corner then select "Settings." Next, click "Security and Login." Here, look for the "Where You're Logged In" section. In this section, find the device you want to log off from by clicking the three vertical dots on the left side then select "Log Off."
If you’re not sure which device you were on, just scroll down through the list of devices then select "Log Out of All Sessions." This will log you out of all your sessions, even your authorized devices, so keep in mind that you will have to re-authorize your devices again.
For mobile Facebook users, click here to see our full step-by-step guide.
3. Prevent others from posting on your Timeline
You’ve probably experienced this at some point: Your uncle or coworker thinks a video is funny, and he posts it on your wall. You don’t find it funny at all, and maybe it’s even offensive and misleading. Or maybe the comment threads on your posts have spun out of control; bitter arguments have erupted that you never intended.
Facebook makes it easy to prevent people from posting on your wall. This gives a lot of users peace of mind. They can use Facebook in the usual way, reading and posting at their leisure, but their own walls are safe from digital graffiti.
To do this on desktop Facebook, go to your "Settings" page again then choose "Timeline and Tagging" on the left column. To prevent anyone from posting stuff on your Timeline just click "Edit" on the "Who can post on your timeline" section and set it to "Only Me." This will prevent your friends from embarrassing you any further.
You could also turn off automatic post tagging in this section. This will let you review the posts your friends tag you in before they appear on your Timeline. For more essential Timeline and Tagging tips that only the pros know, check this article out.
4. Hide notifications for certain posts
This is an easy tweak, but it can save a lot of headaches down the line. Suppose you were tagged in a friend's post, and your friend has a lot of other friends. Suddenly you are getting notifications every few seconds, because all those friends are commenting on that post, and then commenting on the comments. This can get really overwhelming, especially if you don’t know the people liking and commenting. This is why you can turn off notifications for any post.
To do this, just go to the post then click on the little arrow pointer on the upper right corner of the post's header then select "Turn off notifications for this post." This works for both the desktop and mobile version of Facebook. Ah, the sweet sound of silence.
5. Access that secret message folder
One of the most mysterious parts of Facebook is the “Message Request” folder. Many people don’t even realize this folder exists. Instead of a traditional “junk” folder, like you’d find in your email, Facebook filters a lot of spam messages to the Message Request category. By design, it’s easy to ignore.
But this folder also receives messages from real people you are not officially “friends” with. Maybe you know the person well and you’re eagerly awaiting a message, but Facebook doesn’t recognize your real-world connection. This is why it’s important to periodically check your Message Request folder: Some messages get lost for weeks, or even years, waiting for the recipient to find it.
To access this folder on the desktop, go to https://www.facebook.com/messages/ and in the upper-left corner, click on the cog icon then click on "Message Requests." On the next section click "See Filtered Requests." This will reveal all the messages that Facebook dutifully hid from you. There might be a few in there that you really wanted to see!
For the mobile Facebook version, click here to check out this essential guide.
What other social media tricks are you missing? Be sure to listen or download my podcasts, or click here to find it on your local radio station. You can listen to the Kim Komando Show on your phone, tablet or computer. From buying advice to digital life issues, click here for my free podcasts.