Over the past few years, social media giant Facebook was the target of millions of complaints regarding privacy violations. What’s more, the founder and CEO of Facebook Mark Zuckerberg owned up to some of these mistakes and invasions of privacy in some way or another.
Privacy violations aside, as an average Facebook user, there’s a lot of stuff you yourself can hide from the prying eyes of other users.
One of the most popular options is to hide your birthday. It prevents your smartphone from buzzing constantly on that specific date, and it also stops people you aren’t that close to from assaulting you with drinks invitations (drinks that they expect you to pay, by the way!).
Here’s how you can increase your privacy on Facebook and choose who gets to see your personal information.
Hide Your Birthday
No matter what you’re trying to hide, when you log into your Facebook account, almost everything is set through the Settings menu.
But when you want to hide your birthday information, you have to take a different route. From your Facebook profile, click on the About section. Scroll down until you reach the Basic Information section.
You’ll notice two fields: Birth Date and Birth Year. Hover your cursor over each field in order to start making adjustments.
Before the “Edit” button, there should be a gray icon indicating the level of access you currently have. Click on that and select an option from the given list:
- Public (visible to all Facebook users)
- Friends (visible only to your Facebook friends)
- Only me (only you can see your birthday)
The custom section functions similarly to how selective offline chat settings work. You can add people manually or via lists and choose whether or not to let them view your birthday.
Hide Your Age, Not Your Birthday
Facebook lets you hide how old you are from friends and unknown people that may send you requests while still allowing you to leave your birthday visible.
You’ll notice that under the Basic Information section you have two fields. The first one lists the month and day on which you were born and the second one lists the year.
Access icon indicators are available for each field if you hover over it. Therefore, simply change the access level to “Only me” for the year and leave your birthday access set to “Public” or “Friends” so that you can still get your many birthday videos, wishes, and tags.
More Privacy Settings
Hiding your birthday is just the tip of the iceberg. Here are some other cool tricks you can use to make your profile even more enigmatic to curious cats.
Hiding Your Email and Phone Number
People who have your phone number or your email address can use them to find your Facebook profile, even if you’re registered under a fake name.
If you don’t want anyone finding you even with that type of information, then it’s off to the Privacy settings.
- Click on the downward arrow in the top right corner.
- Click on Privacy in the left panel menu.
Use the Edit button to set different levels of access for the following fields:
- Who can look you up using the email address you provided?
- Who can look you up using the phone number you provided?
Set both of them to Friends so that no one outside of your circle can find you on Facebook without knowing your name.
Another cool feature is preventing search engines from using associated email addresses to connect people to your Facebook account.
Here’s how you can hide your associated emails and phone numbers. Go to the Contact Information page by clicking on the About tab.
Click the Edit button next to the phone and email fields. Select the level of access for each item individually. If you set them all to “Only me”, no one including your friends will be able to see them. You can also hide your email address from your Facebook timeline by clicking on the gray box next to the email field. That way, your friends won’t receive a notification the next time you change your address.
Privacy Brings Peace of Mind
Whether you’re a very private person, you don’t like attention on your birthday, or you just want to see how many people actually remember your important day, hiding a birthday on Facebook is very easy to do.
If you’re already frustrated by dozens of notifications Facebook sends you each day, a few hundred more on your birthday might just make you want to turn off your phone for good. Thankfully, tweaking some privacy settings can give you a more relaxed online experience.