How To Check Your Facebook Security So You Know Exactly Who Can See Your Account Information

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In this divisive political climate, discussions on the ol' Facebook News Feed can get pretty heated. Before you hit "post" on that next update, it may be a good time for a refresher on how to use the Facebook Security Check features, because avoiding unpleasant comments and posts may be a simple issue of changing your privacy settings. The step-by-step Security Check was added way back in Summer 2015, so it's definitely not new; however, the guide remains useful tool for those who wish to quickly enhance their Facebook privacy or just double-check that they are only sharing posts and profile information with the people they want.

Facebook recommends "regularly checking the audience for your profile info and posts" — but without a big, glowing reminder at the top of your News Feed, it's easy to forget to take these extra steps to ensure your account is protected. However, running one of these security checks will take less than five minutes, and will leave you with a deeper understanding of the safeguards you can put in place when posting. If you want to keep that bathing suit pic from popping up on your boss' feed, this quick checkup is well worth the time.

Here's how to check your Facebook's security and make sure your posts are on point:

1Log Into Facebook

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You can run the privacy checkup on either your mobile device or computer. To get started, simply log in to your Facebook account, and try not to get distracted by all those cat videos and breaking political news updates.

See? It's already so easy!

2Start Your Privacy Checkup

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If you have Facebook open on your computer, you will see three horizontal lines with a lock icon in the upper righthand corner of your browser. Click on this icon to reveal a drop-down menu of privacy shortcuts. Select "Privacy Checkup" to navigate through all the basic privacy protocols.

Those using the Facebook app on a smartphone or other mobile device will find the menu icon in the lower righthand corner. Scroll to the bottom of the menu to find the "Privacy Shortcut" option.

3Review How To Share Posts

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While you are probably already familiar with how to control who views your posts, the Security Checkup will take you through a quick tutorial on how to change the audience for each piece you publish on the News Feed. Click "Next" to move on, or "Learn More" for a detailed description of the settings for the status updates.

4Log Out Of Apps You Haven't Used In A While

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The next step is to review your privacy settings for any games or apps that have obtained your Facebook login information. Oftentimes, apps will ask for Facebook login information before allowing to user to take their quiz or play a game. This information is then stored, and most of the time, we forget these companies even have it. Those who don't feel comfortable with something called "Which Dog Am I?" having access to their info should definitely take advantage of this tool and delete the apps you no longer use. Do so by clicking the "x" on the righthand side of the app's name.  

5Review Your Personal Information Settings

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If you have personal information posted on Facebook, it's always handy to make sure that your phone number and address are private (select the setting "Only Me"). You can never be too careful!

6Complete Your Privacy Checkup!

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Congratulations! You have now completed all the Facebook privacy basics! If you want to delve deeper into the world of custom security settings, click on "More About Privacy." The option will open another tab in your browser, and direct you to Facebook's privacy basics page where you can further explore.