How To Tell If Someone Is Stalking Your Facebook Page
Social media is an excellent tool for connecting with friends and family all over the world. You can share your travels, favorite restaurants, anniversaries, job accomplishments, and more. But with the joy of sharing also comes risks. Other users may keep tabs on your page. This can be because they enjoy your posts or something more sinister.
So, what exactly is Facebook stalking? Should you be worried? Can you tell who is watching your profile? This article will discuss all of the answers to your questions.
What is Facebook Stalking?
Facebook stalking has varying degrees. Perhaps, someone you just met is interested in getting to know you a little better. If this is the case, they may scroll through your about page and old posts. Others may not know you but become interested in your posts, so they scroll.
Another version of stalking is when someone checks on your activity regularly to see where you are and what you’re doing.
Regardless of why the person is checking up on you, Facebook doesn’t give us a “who’s looking at my profile?” option. However, there are still some ways to know who’s checking out your Facebook profile.
Here are the techniques that we know of for assessing whether someone is stalking your Facebook account.
Check Your Stories
In 2017, Facebook introduced Stories, following the path set by Snapchat and Instagram. You can create a Story to publish a montage of images and publish it for your friends to see. Stories can only be viewed within 24 hours. You can track how many people look at it and see who viewed it.
Yes, you can flush out a stalker by publishing a Story and seeing who checks it out. The downside is that if your stalker knows how Facebook Stories work, they will avoid viewing them. If they aren’t so savvy, you might catch them out. (For a complete guide to this technique, see our tutorial on how to see who viewed your Facebook Story.)
Look For New Likes And Comments On Old Posts
Facebook notifies you whenever someone likes or comments on one of your posts. If a (somewhat clueless) stalker is trying to ingratiate themselves to you, they might be going through and liking and commenting on old material. This shows you that they are going methodically through your feed – a definite stalker red flag.
Someone Who Shows Up On Your Groups
If another user keeps popping up in groups that you belong to, this is a definite sign of a lurker. What are the odds that someone likes the same ethnic cuisine group, the same dirty joke group, the same local parenting club, and the same dog breed fan group? This is one way to spot the more subtle stalker, the one who isn’t going to go around obliviously liking your content.
It is helpful to check the membership lists of the groups you’ve joined. Facebook shows you people who are in other groups with you when you look at their names in the list. Here’s how:
- Just go to the group page and click on Members section.
- This will bring up the members list for the group, and Facebook will put the people with whom you have connections (either friends or joint group memberships) right up at the top to make it easy to check. Use the Search bar to search for people you suspect are stalking you.
If you notice the same Facebook user in the several groups, they may be stalking you. Even if they aren’t your Facebook friend, they can see all of your posts and comments within the group.
Unsolicited Friend Requests
Some people get friend requests by the dozens every day, while others only get a new request when they meet someone new in real life. Regardless, if you get friend requests from someone you don’t know, it could well be a stalker trying to get into your inner circle. Be especially suspicious of friend requests from someone you DO know but who you haven’t seen or interacted with in a long time.
Stalkers will sometimes create fake accounts, friend your friend first, then send you a friend request.
Defending Against Stalking
The best defense is a good offense, and the most straightforward way to defend yourself against stalkers is to know who everyone on your Friends list is. Many Facebook users take a much different approach; they have hundreds or thousands of Facebook friends, and pretty much any friend request from a vaguely familiar name is accepted automatically. This is fine if that is how you want to manage your online life, but if you are seriously concerned about stalking, then that kind of open-door policy will help prevent someone from stalking your account.
For a seriously stalker-resistant profile, you need to do two things.
One, cull your friends list to people with whom you have actual relationships and who you know are not stalking you. This doesn’t have to be restricted to your in-real-life friends; if you know someone well online then presumably you trust them at least to an extent to be part of your online circle.
Two, get rid of your followers. Facebook lets nearly anyone follow you by default, but you can change this setting. We recommend setting your follower permissions to allow only Friends to follow you. This is easily done:
- Go to Settings.
- Select Public Posts from the left sidebar.
- Under “Who Can Follow Me”, select “Friends”.
If you are seriously concerned about the possibility of someone stalking you on Facebook or if you feel uncomfortable for someone to view your Facebook page, then it is important to be mindful about everything that you post.
Do not post anything online that you would most likely regret in the end. Most importantly, do not share any photos, videos, or information that you are not meant to be shared. Think before you post; the internet is more dangerous than what we think it is.
Frequently Asked Questions
Here are the answers to more of your questions about Facebook stalkers.
Can I see who viewed my Facebook profile?
While there is a workaround to see who is visiting your profile, our tests in June of 2022 show that this isn’t always a reliable way to see everyone visiting your profile.
But, if you’d like to explore, here’s how:
1. Open Facebook in the Chrome browser and right-click on any blank space. Click View Page Source in the dropdown menu.
2. Use the Control + F (Command + F for Mac users) to search “buddy.”
3. To the right of the word “Buddy” you will see “ID” and a number. Double-click the number and copy it.
4. Open a new tab. Type “Facebook.com/” and paste the number behind the /. Then, hit enter. The individual’s profile will appear.
Use the up and down arrows in the Control + F dialogue box to search the next person.
Unfortunately, this didn’t reveal any stalkers because each user only appeared once. Also, we did have several users view the Facebook page we were using in this example who didn’t appear at all. Finally, there was no date or pattern that indicated when or how often the user visited our page.
Is there a third-party service that will help us find our stalkers?
Of course! But we don’t typically recommend these services. To start, you may have to pay for the information and as explained in the question above, you can find the same information yourself.
Also, third-party services may post a risk to your account’s security.
Do you know of any other ways to spot a Facebook stalker? Tell us about them below if you do!
Online privacy is a serious concern, and we’ve got resources to help you defend yourself.