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How to control access to your personal details?

Controlling access to your personal details

Learn to control access to your personal details on social networking sites.

Learn how to

A careful update...

Brenda and Isaac plan to use Twitter during the march to give updates on the progress of the march. But what if the police could monitor the tweets, and deploy squads to intercept marchers?
They plan how to share photos and videos of the march without revealing people's identities, because they worry that participants could face persecution.

What to post to social networking sites

Be careful with what information you give

Social networking sites ask you for a good deal of data about yourself to make it easier for other users to find and connect to you.

Identity fraud is common

Perhaps the biggest vulnerability this creates for users of these sites is the possibility of identity fraud, which is increasingly common.

Less is more

The more information about yourself you reveal online, the easier it becomes for the authorities to identify you and monitor your activities.

Posts can impact your family

The online activities of diaspora activists from some countries have led to the targeting of their family members by the authorities in their homelands.

Do you need to post

Before posting, think about whether it's necessary to post:

  • birth dates
  • contact phone numbers
  • addresses

    Do you need to post

  • details of family members
  • sexual orientation
  • education and employment history

Control access to personal information on your Facebook profile

Editing your profile

You can control who can see various elements of your profile. This doesn't happen in the main privacy settings but directly when editing your profile.

Date of birth

Go to About > Contact & Basic Info you can see your date of birth:

Screen Shot 2015-11-20 at 16.54.51.png

Choose audience

If you place your mouse cursor over it, you will see an icon which can be a globe (public), a group (friends of friends), a lock (only me) or possibly other images.

Screen Shot 2015-11-20 at 16.54.57.png

Change settings

Clicking on this icon will bring up a menu where you can change this setting:

Screen Shot 2015-11-20 at 17.00.25.png
Figure: Screen Shot 2015-11-20 at 17.00.25.png

Test you social networking knowledge!


  • en/topics/understand-4-digisec/0-getting-started/1-1-intro.md: Intro to digital security
  • en/topics/practice-1-emergencies/2-account-hijacked/1-1-intro.md: What to do if your social media account has been hijacked

See also: