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True or false: Someone can see if you looked at their Facebook profile

If you are a member of LinkedIn, you already know that you can see who has checked out your profile. The same goes in reverse. If you peek at the profile of a prospective new boss or client, chances are they will know about it. Tap or click here to see how to keep your searches private on LinkedIn.

But what about on other social media platforms, like Facebook, for instance? Not every platform is the same, and some are dependant upon your profile settings. You never know what kind of information that person on the other side of the computer is receiving.

So true or false, can someone see if you looked at their Facebook profile? Keep reading to find out just how private Facebook profile searches are.

What happens when you go poking around on Facebook?

While some of the reasons you want to look someone up privately may be nefarious, most of them are very innocent. Perhaps you’ve lost touch with a relative and what to see what they’ve been up to recently?

If they know you are poking around, this could lead to an awkward conversation. Or, as a potential employee or hiring manager, you may want to inspect a person’s profile page to see who they are outside of the interview space.

Most employers look at your social media pages before they even schedule an interview, so watch out if your profile isn’t private. If you aren’t careful, your boss might get a glimpse of something you don’t want them to.

Are Facebook profile searches private?

The short answer is yes. Your Facebook searches are private. If you look up someone’s profile or they look up yours, none is the wiser. Facebook is very clear on the matter:

“Facebook users cannot track who has viewed their personal homepage. Third-party applications also cannot provide this feature.”

However, hold the excitement. This doesn’t mean your activity on Facebook is private from everyone. Facebook is free for a reason. Just like Google, it tracks your activity and shares it with third parties. So while your long-lost relative won’t see your search, Facebook definitely will. Tap or click here to stop Facebook from stalking you across the web.

Beware of third-party apps

Where there is an opening, hackers find a way to squeeze in through the cracks. The same goes for Facebook services. You may have seen third-party apps offering services that allow you to see who’s viewed your profile.

Don’t fall for it. As stated by Facebook, there are no third-party apps that can provide this functionality. If you come across one, don’t engage and report it to Facebook immediately here.

Protecting your profile

You can choose how much strangers can see about your social media. We recommend that you limit who can see your Facebook profile. Here’s how:

Limit who can see your posts

The best way to keep your personal life private is to limit who can see your Facebook posts. When you create a post on the site, the easiest way to do this is to change the setting to limit its viewing.

Here’s how: Open the Facebook app. At the top, you’ll see a section that reads, “What’s on your mind?” Tap that section, and this is where you’ll create a post. First, you’ll see a section that reads, “Who can see your post?” It explains that your post will show up in News Feed, on your profile and in search results.

Under your name, while creating a post, you’ll see a drop-down menu. Tap the menu and select one of the following options:

  • Public – Anyone on or off Facebook will see this post.
  • Friends – Your friends on Facebook will be able to see this post.
  • Friends except – Means the Facebook friends you select won’t be able to see the post.
  • Specific friends – Only shows the post to friends who you choose.
  • Only me – Obviously, this setting only allows you to see the post.

Selecting the Friends option is a secure way to create Facebook posts. This will keep your posts from showing up publicly and allowing anyone on the platform to see what you’re up to.

Keep your ‘likes’ from being used against you

Ever wonder how all those ads end up on your feed? One of Facebook’s tactics is to present advertisements that you have liked to your friends and vice versa. They don’t ask for permission ahead of time, but you can disable this feature:

  • Open the Facebook app and tap the three-line Menu in the lower right corner.
  • Tap Settings & Privacy.
  • Choose Settings.
  • Scroll down to the Ads section and tap Ad Preferences.
  • Near the top of the page select Ad Settings.
  • Scroll down and select Social Interactions.
  • Under Who can see your social interactions alongside ads, select Only Me.

These are just a couple of ways to make your Facebook experience more private. There are more. Are you looking for other ways to keep your Facebook profile safe? Here are 10 tips to get you started.

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