Monthly Archives: March 2012


In a recent post, we alerted you to the fact that when you tag a photo, status update or post on your Facebook, then the Friends of the people you tag can see and comment on that post.

In this follow up post we want to show you how to prevent this using your Privacy Controls.

When you post a photo, video, or status update of any kind, you can use your Privacy Controls to customise who can see and comment on them.

  • When you post a Status Update (this can include posting a photo or video, or a Life Event) on your wall, click on the Privacy Settings button in the bottom right of the box next to the Post button. The Privacy Settings button usually defaults to Friends.
  • Click on the Custom link.
  • Uncheck the Friends of those tagged option.
  • Click on the Save Changes button.
  • You will see that there are also options for setting who specifically will, and will not see what you are posting.

This process can be used for photo albums, individual photos, videos, status updates and life events.

If you have any questions you would like us to answer regarding any form of social media security, please do not hesitate to comment below, or on our Facebook page at:



You may not know this, but when you tag a Facebook Friend in one of your photos, or in a comment, or status update, all the tagged person’s Face book Friends can then see, and comment on that photograph, comment or status update, even if those people are not your Facebook Friends. 

This can have some serious implications for your social media privacy. You may have all your security settings at maximum privacy, and the security setting on that particular item set to Friends only, but if you tag a Friend in one of your photos, comments, or status updates, then that person’s friends can see it and comment, and copy it, and do what they want with it.

It’s kind of like practicing safe sex. You’re not just sleeping with your partner, but all the other people they have slept with too, and all the other people those people have slept with, and so on…

So, what can you do? Well, it’s simple. Don’t tag.  Unless of course you don’t mind the whole world seeing what you are tagging. You can also set your privacy settings so that any of your content that your Friends tag, has to be approved by you first. While you’re at it, you could set your privacy controls so that any content Friends tag you in, has to be approved by you first.

Here’s how to do it:

  • On your NewsFeed page (the one that’s not your main Profile page), click on the down arrow (upside down triangle) in the top, right-hand corner of the page, next to Home.
  • Click on the Privacy Settings item.
  • Look for the Timeline and Tagging item in the list.
  • Click on the Edit Settings link.
  • Set Who can see posts that appear on your timeline because you’ve been tagged? option to Friends (or to anything other than Public.
  • Set Review posts friends tag you in before they appear on your timeline to On.
  • Set Review tags friends add to your own posts on Facebook to On.
  • Set Who sees tag suggestions when photos that look like you are uploaded? to No one.
  • Set Allow friends to check you in with mobile Places to Off.  
  • Click on the Done button.

After you have done this, anytime someone tags you, you will receive a notification that will show up on your main Profile page, as a red flag next to the Activity Log item in the top right hand corner of the menu bar, under your Cover photo (and to the right of your Profile photo). You can click on the red flag then approve or not approve the tags.



Last night I was sitting on my couch in my apartment in Paris, with a friend who was staying with me for Fashion Week. We were both looking at and sharing our Facebook with each other, laughing about some of the photos on her Facebook of horrible fashion faux pas, and looking at some of the entries I had recently made for eConscious Consulting.

We had just recently had a discussion about an article I had written about “Like”-ing pictures on Facebook, and how it can expose your activity to unknown third parties.

Suddenly, on my Facebook newsfeed, there appeared a gruesome picture of a severed head. I had to look twice to make sure, but someone had in fact posted a picture of a severed head, and had tagged two of my friends on it (this is how I could see the photo as the person posting it was not a friend of mine).

To say I was shocked was an understatement. I felt sickened and immediately made a comment on the photo querying the sanity of the person posting it, and then reported the photo to Facebook. I then rang my friend to alert them to the fact that they had been tagged on such a gruesome picture. They were aware of it, as the person who posted it was related to one of them, he had taken it after a bombing in their home country. They had requested that they be untagged and I am sure, suggested to the person posting it that it was not suitable for Facebook (or perhaps anywhere else).

I then got to thinking about another article we reposted about the people who are responsible for vetting reported photos on Facebook

Some other unsuspecting person was about to get a shock too. It certainly brought home the truth of what Hugh Pickens was saying in his article.

This morning, as I was once again sat browsing through my Facebook, looking for inspiration and pertinent articles for eConscious Consulting, enjoying many of the articles and posts about International Women’s Day, when up popped another picture, posted by a non-friend, but with a friend tagged on it (which is how I could see it), that also kind of shocked me. I don’t know how many of you know this painting ‎”l’origine du monde” by Gustave Courbet, 1866, which is hung at the Musée d’Orsay here in Paris,

(Warning: graphic painting of female genitalia)

but it is quite graphic, and very much on topic for IWD.

What concerns me is the randomness of these images, one gruesome and violent, and one artistic but graphic. Both of these pictures were posted by non-friends, but the mere act of tagging my friends on them, combined with leaving the privacy setting on the photos as Public, allowed me to see them. And I don’t want to have seen them, especially not the first one.

Fortunately, I was not in a public place, or in a professional environment, nor were there any children around that could have been accidentally exposed to these pictures, but it could happen.

Pay attention to what you post, if the content is private or disturbing, or could compromise another person’s privacy, ensure that the privacy settings are not left as Public. And, be aware that anything could pop on your Facebook newsfeed, so be consciousof who could be exposed to it.