Late December 2012 Facebook announced a bevy of new security enhancements for personal profiles.

As an social media management company for businesses, we don’t typically write entries on the personal usage of Facebook but you’ve asked and we’ve listened.

The new security enhancements were slated to hit most all personal profiles on Facebook around the first week of January, 2013. If your profile has not been updated by Facebook yet, expect to be in another couple days.

Let’s start by identifying the section that allows you to administer these security updates:

Facebook has broken down their privacy shortcuts into three basic sections:

    • Who can see my stuff?
    • Who can contact me?
    • How do I stop someone from bothering me?

Who Can See My Stuff?

The global setting for who can see your posts.

How to use the activity log to see all your posts and other items you’ve been tagged in.

The “View As” tool to see what other people see when they view your timeline.

Who Can Contact Me?

Basic or strict filtering settings.

How can I limit who can send me friend requests?

How Do I Stop Someone From Bothering Me?

Easily enter names or the email addresses of people you would like to block (making their posts no longer visible, preventing them from starting conversations with you or them being able to see what you post on your timeline).

These are the basic shortcuts and most frequently used settings. Facebook now provides a complete dashboard to administer these settings and to allow you to control additional settings to establish a more in-depth security policy for your personal Facebook use.

So let’s break this down a little further:

General Account Settings Options

These are general settings. You can change your name, username, email addresses, networks and language settings.

Security Settings Options

Secure Browsing – Setting (on or off). Facebook recommends browsing on a secure network when possible.

Login Notifications – Get notified when your account has been access by a computer or device you’ve never used before.

Login Approvals – Require a security code to access your account from a computer or device you’ve never used before.

App Passwords – Some Apps (Skype, Xbox, Jabber, etc.) can’t receive security codes. You can create app passwords for these types of apps.

Recognized Devices – Devices you have authorized to access your account.

Active Sessions – Shows you where your current session is logged in from.

Privacy Settings and Tools Options

Who Can See My Stuff?

You can set the default setting for who can see your posts. You can change (override) this setting in the bottom left of the status box where you create a new post.

You can review all your posts and things you’ve been tagged in by clicking on the “Use Activity Log” option.

You can limit the audience for posts you’ve shared with friends of friends or public in the past to just visible to friends.

Who Can Look Me Up?

Limit who can look you up by your email address or phone number provided.

You can determine whether you want other search engines to link to your timeline

Timeline and Tagging Options

These options control activities on your timeline and who, how and when you can be tagged.

You can indicate who can add things to your timeline as well as give you the option to review what they are tagging you on before it hits your timeline.

You can indicate who can see things on your timeline, including posts you’ve been tagged in and who can see what other’s post on your timeline.

You can indicate whether you want to review tags people add to your posts before they appear and who can add tags to posts you’ve been tagged in.

The last section is blocking. In this section you can manage who and what you will see as well as apps you are not interested in. You can create a restricted list that “moves” your friends to see the same things that are visible to the public settings (when friends are added to a restricted list, they are not notified that this happened). Blocking users indicates they are no longer your friend on Facebook and cannot interact with you. You will still see their updates in groups or games you both belong to). You can block/unblock app invites that are coming from specific people. You can block/unblock event invites coming from specific people. Finally, you can block/unblock certain apps and games from showing up.

These settings of course are subject to change as Facebook sees fit. This update is intended to provide you with a better description of how the newest Facebook security and privacy settings are implemented, what they mean and how you can make better sense of them.