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How to restrict who can see your Facebook updates

We have recently written about how Facebook is becoming more like real life, with tools that allow you to distinguish between family, best friends, work friends, etc. At the same time, Facebook has also made it easier for you to restrict who sees your status updates.

For example, you just got news that you were accepted for that new job you’ve been chasing. You want to let your closest friends and family know straight away but you don’t want anyone from work to find out. Or you want to thank a few friends for their birthday greetings but you don’t want to make the ones that forgot feel awkward.

There’s now a very easy way to customize exactly who can see those posts. Here’s how you do it:

· Click on the What’s on your mind? box and enter the desired text.

· Before you click on Share, click on the little padlock sign to the left of the Share icon.

· Select Customize from the drop down menu.

· A Custom Privacy window will open giving you two options: you can either choose the people you want to make the update visible to, or you can choose the people to hide it from.

· If you choose Make this visible to, then you can choose Friends Only, Friends of Friends, or Specific People. If you choose Specific People, a new space will open and you can search for specific friends by typing in the first few letters of their names. Once you have completed your list, click on Save Setting.

· If you choose Hide this from, then you will need to specify the individuals that you don’t want to see the post. Again, click on Save Setting when you are done.
You can also make your restricted list your new default distribution for future updates by checking the Make this my default setting box in the lower left of the Custom Privacy window. You can also change your default distribution list through the regular Privacy Settings.

Don’t forget that friends can always “Like”, comment on, or re-post one of your restricted updates. If they do, then their comments or re-post may be seen by people outside of your control. Their friends may include people you included on your original “hide” list.

Whatever restrictions you put in place, it’s never a good idea to post anything inappropriate or sensitive. Those posts always have a way of coming back to haunt you, no matter how private you try to make them!

Comment by Ellen, posted 1/22/2013, 8:47 AM:

If you restrict someone by going to their page and under the friend section use the drop down to restrict. Where do you find that person again to unrestrict?
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