Setting Custom Sharing Options
So far, so good. But what if you don't want to share your photos with everyone? Or what if don't want to share your phone number with anyone? (Note a lack of "no one" as a sharing option.) Well, now we have to go to Facebook's custom sharing settings.
To set custom settings, click the Custom option; then click the Customize Settings link. This displays the Customize Settings page, which has a lot more options than the previous page.
Figure 2 Customizing Facebook's sharing settings
First, there are more things that you can configure: specific contact information, website info, and the like.
Next, you can choose the three primary sharing options (Everyone, Friends of Friends, and Friends Only) for each specific item, not just for groups of items.
And, most important, for each item you indicate specific people who either can or cannot see that piece of information.
To customize a sharing setting, click the big button to the far right of the item; then click Customize. This displays the Custom Privacy dialog box.
Figure 3 Determining which individuals can or can't view specific information
To hide an item from everyone, pull down the Make This Visible To list and select Only Me. To make an item visible only to specific people, pull down the Make This Visible To list and select Specific People; then enter the names of those Facebook users you want to see the info. To hide an item only from specific people, enter their names into the Hide This From box. Click the Save Setting button when done.
Note that this last option is a great way to keep colleagues from seeing more personal information and posts, or hiding embarrassing stuff from your parents or spouse.
Speaking of who sees what, here's a bonus tip for you. Facebook makes it easy to determine who can view your status updates on a post-by-post basis. When you write a new status update, from your Home or Profile page, you see a lock icon with a down arrow beneath the text box; click this to display the privacy menu of Everyone, Friends of Friends, Only Friends, or Customize. Make your selection and this particular post will only be viewable by the group you select.
Figure 4 Controlling who views a specific status update