The Facebook Hacks We Can't Believe Exist

Jillian Knox Finley
PHOTO:

Anna Kern for Bolig

Getting your Facebook privacy settings right is a must in today's modern landscape. Making sure your profile is seen by only those with explicit, granted permission ensures your personal life remains private. From disabling ad retargeting to hiding your profile from search engines, these handy user-friendly tips will give you a customized user experience with minimum exposure. You'll want to get in on these simple tweaks. Why keep your social life an open book? 

Stop FB From Tracking You

Facebook keeps tabs on everything you do on the main site, as well as on sites that use Facebook Connect. Ever been haunted by the ghost of something you shopped for once upon a time for weeks on end? That’s called ad retargeting, and it can be disabled. To keep your search habits private, simply add the Chrome plugin Facebook Disconnect. The plug-in uses JavaScript to disable component link traffic from being accessed by third-party sites.  

Hidden Inbox

You may have heard of Facebook’s infamous hidden messages graveyard, wherein the site automatically filters out certain correspondence and deposits it in an obscure inbox only accessible via explicit request. To see all your messages, click on your Message Inbox and select Message Requests. This is inbox graveyard one. From your Inbox, click the More button from the drop-down menu and click Filtered. Here lies all the notes from people who aren’t your friends. If you use your profile for work, you may want to check it out. To view from within the Facebook Messenger app, go to Settings. Select People, then Message Requests. Scroll down and select See Filtered Requests. Happy hunting.

Customize Your Ad Preferences

One of our favorite settings is recalibrating your ad experience within Facebook. Why not customize which categories get your attention? To edit your ad privacy settings, click the top right of your Facebook profile page to select Settings. Click Ads from the left column. Under Ads and Friends, select from the topics listed. Want only health and beauty? Just toggle them. Save changes, and you’re done. 

Find Out Your Degree of Separation

Once upon a time, science told us human beings were connected by roughly six degrees. It seems the Facebook algorithm now reveals that with the ubiquity of social media, it’s now more like three-and-a-half degrees between you and anyone in the world. Find out your exact Kevin Bacon ratio via this research blog

Download All Your Data in One Step

Facebook keeps a running archive of all your activity. If you want to back up your photo albums, videos, and messages in bulk, head over to Settings. Below your General Account Settings click Download a Copy of Your Facebook Data and select Start My Archive. You're backed up.

Save Links for Later

If you find yourself scrolling through the newsfeed without the time to properly digest relevant news content or cat videos, flag any articles of interest and view them later. To view all your saved posts in bulk, go here on a desktop. Tap More on your mobile app from the navigation drop-down. It will pull up the option for saved content. 

Sync Your Facebook and Google Calendar

If you want to link your Facebook and Google calendar, log in to Facebook and click Events in the right-hand panel. Click Export Events, and copy the URL. From Google Calendar, select Add under Other Calendars, then Add by URL. Paste the copied URL, and click Add. Google calendar will now automatically update every time you accept an invite request via Facebook. 

Remove Events From Your iPhone

Don’t want every one of your Facebook friend’s birthdays on your phone? Go into Calendar on your iPhone. Select Calendars, scroll down, and uncheck Facebook from your accounts. To further remove Facebook permissions from your iPhone go to Settings, scroll down until you see Facebook and click over. Under Allow These Apps to Use Your Account, deselect the calendar, contacts, etc. To save battery on your phone, select Settings and deselect Background App Refresh. You can also disable Location Services and Turn Off Notifications if you want to go super stealth. 

Hide Your Last Name

It’s common practice to go by a single name in Indonesia. Due to this cultural difference, users worldwide have the option to delete their surname from their account. To reset your account, click the Settings gear icon in the upper right corner. Go to General, then Language, and Change Default Language to Bahasa Indonesia. Next, download and install Geoproxy. You may be required to restart your browser. From General Account Settings, choose the first name you want to use, and delete your last name. Enter your password, and save changes. You can then revert your default language to English, while keeping the one name only setting.

Hide Your Profile From Public Search

To keep your profile from popping up in a search-engine search, go to Settings. Select Privacy and under the prompt, Do you want to link your profile to a search engine? and select No. Voilà. You're now un-Google-able. Welcome to life off the grid. 

Shop chic iPhone accessories below. Have a favorite Facebook shortcut you'd like to share? 

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