Facebook

Facebook helps us stay in touch with family and friends, make new friends, and share our news and activities using comments, photos and videos.

FacebookMore than 14 million Australians use Facebook, so it’s safe to assume that you are already on Facebook or you’ve thought about setting up a Facebook page. If you’re already using Facebook, now may be the time to review your Facebook settings.

Although some of us use our computers or laptops to get into Facebook, most people check and update their Facebook page—and see what’s going on with their friends—using the Facebook app on their smartphone or tablet.
Facebook also offers the Messenger app which many use to send messages, share photos and videos, and start or join group conversations.

Safer Facebook use

Many people have an enjoyable experience on Facebook.

Sometimes, things can and do go wrong. Some people may be subject to overt abuse and also covert abuse such as cyberstalking, impersonation, image-based abuse, or have their account hacked. Read more about online abuse.

There are many steps you can take to reduce the risk of something going wrong. Start by following these tips.

Use strong passwords

Use a strong password that’s not easy to guess, change it regularly and don’t share it with anyone. Always change your password if you think your account has been compromised in any way. Consider setting up two-factor authentication for an extra layer of security – watch our video to see how to do this.

Use privacy settings to manage your personal privacy

Be diligent about checking your privacy settings regularly – don’t rely on the default settings. Watch our video to find out how to adjust your privacy settings.
Do the Privacy Check-up, and control who can see your information.

Control what you share – restrict it to friends. Remember, when you share photos or information on Facebook you’re trusting others not to copy or share it without your knowledge.

Handy tip: If you see an icon of the world next to a post or photo, the whole world can see it. Make sure your information is available only to the people you choose.
 
Think about how much personal information you share.

  • Choose carefully the details you share on your Account Info page and through your status updates.
  • Don’t share identifying personal information (your full name, date of birth, phone number, address or email address – just don’t do it!).
  • Select a profile picture that doesn’t give away any information about you or your family.
  • Avoid sharing photos of your children.
  • If you don’t want to be ‘tagged’ by friends, change your settings and turn on the option to review tags before they are public. (If people who are not your friends try to tag you, you’ll get a request to approve the tag anyway). This puts you in control of saying yes or no to tags.

Protect your location information

Don’t reveal your location:

  • Don’t share photos that divulge your location or data from your fitness wearable device (like a Fitbit).
  • Learn how to turn off Facebook location services on all your devices. Watch our videos on how to turn off location services on both Apple and Android devices.
  • If you don’t want anyone to know your location, break the ‘check in’ habit. Remember: tell your family and friends too so that they don’t tag or check you in.
  • Know how to block people and report abuse or inappropriate content to Facebook.

What to do if things go wrong

If you are feeling unsafe right now, call the police on Triple Zero (000).

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'How to' videos about Facebook

Report abuse

If someone is abusing you on Facebook:

  • Don’t respond to nasty or offensive comments.
  • Collect evidence of the abuse – see our page on collecting evidence. You can also download a copy of your Facebook data – follow the link under Settings > General Account Settings.
  • Block the abuser.
  • Report the abuser to Facebook, watch our video to see how to do this.

If the abuser’s behaviour makes you feel unsafe, you’ll need support from the police and other services. See our Get help page.

Report an account that’s pretending to be you

People aren’t allowed to create Facebook accounts that impersonate another person. If this has happened to you, report it to Facebook.

Where to get more information

Facebook’s Help and Safety Centres and the Office of the eSafety Commissioner website has more information on how to have a safer Facebook experience.

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