One of my female friends decided against using her personal photo as her Facebook display picture. Instead, she used some abstract images to fill up the space. When I asked her the reason behind it, she told me that whenever she puts up her personal profile pic her Facebook account is flooded with friend requests and messages from complete strangers. Needless to say she’s a pretty girl.
This wasn’t a one-off case. When I asked some of my other friends (girls) if they faced a similar problem, most of them told me that they are fed up with guys stalking them on Facebook.
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I did some research on Facebook privacy settings and discovered a feature in Facebook that could help my friends. This particular Facebook feature does not hide our profile from complete strangers but restricts their intrusion to a bare minimum. Read on to know how to implement these restrictions.
Blocking Strangers on Facebook
Step 1: Log in to your Facebook account and open Privacy Settings from the drop-down menu in the top-right corner of the screen.
Step 2: In Privacy Settings, look for the option How you connect and click on the link Edit Settings. Here you can control how you connect with people on Facebook.
Step 3: If you don’t want people to find you using your name, email address and phone number change the Who can look you up using the email address or phone number you provided? to friends of friends. If the friends request and Facebook messages are bugging you, change Who can send you friend requests? and Who can send you Facebook messages? to friends of friends.
You can also go ahead and select only friends but then your profile will be too restricted and not even a mutual friend of a friend will be able to send you friend requests.
Finally save the settings and make the changes permanent. From now on, you can put any display pic you would like without the concern of strangers sending your spam messages and requests.
Note: Recently Facebook has made mandatory that the profile picture of each user should be public but that shouldn’t be too much of a concern if you have the above privacy settings in place.
While Facebook has had its share of troubles with privacy and has drawn flak for its lackluster handling of such issues, it has brought about many changes and new features that help a user filter access and data intelligently. It’s just a matter of knowing them and using them.
Most of my female friends have changed their Facebook privacy settings and they thank me for making their Facebook account clean and spam free. Hopefully this should help you too.