How to View Your Facebook Profile as Someone Else Would View It
You can never be too careful when posting things on Facebook. Events and images meant to be shared with friends or family can just as easily be made available to the public. There are settings meant to prevent this, but checking each and every single post to see if it’s been set to ‘Private’ is quite a challenge.
Fortunately, Facebook has the option to let you see which of your uploads are viewable by everyone. In this article, we will show you how to view your Facebook Profile as someone else would, giving you control over what content you make public.
Viewing Your Profile as Public on the PC or on Mac
When on a PC or Mac, viewing your profile as a user, not on your Friends List is a simple process. To do so, follow these instructions:
Open your Facebook Page. Click on your profile.
You can also tap on your name on the Top Menu, click on your name on the Left Menu, or click on your Profile Icon on the Create Post Text Box to access your profile page.
Click the three-dot menu then click ‘Profile and Tagging Settings.’
This is a shortcut directly to the link where you can see your profile as a public user (non-friend) will see it.
Choose View As.
Scroll down the page looking for the blue’ View As’ hyperlink. Then, click it.
Facebook should now show you your Facebook Profile as it would appear to someone who is not your Friend. There should be a message up top that says: This is what your profile looks like to: Public.
To exit, either click on your browser’s back button or simply click the x on the message. You can also directly navigate to your Home or Profile page from here.
There used to be an option to do this as a specific person as well, but a loophole that allowed hackers to access profile pages was discovered, and this was removed. So far Facebook has not reenabled this feature for the desktop version, but that may change in a future update.
Viewing Your Profile as Public, or as a Specific Person on Mobile
Facebook Mobile also has the same feature, though enabling it is a bit different. Here’s what you need to do:
Open your Facebook App.
Go to your profile page
Open your Profile by either tapping on your Profile picture beside the textbox that says ‘What’s on your mind?’ or tapping on the Profile icon at the top menu. This is the icon to the left of the bell.
Tap on the three dots to the right of +Add to Story.
Tap ‘View As.’
On the Profile Settings menu that appears, tap on View As. This will display your profile as someone not on your Friends List will see it.
Tap the Down Arrow to change views
Tapping on the arrow button will give you the option to either exit the ‘View As’ setting, or allow you to edit your profile.
Similar to the desktop version, the ‘View as Specific Person Option’ has also been removed due to security reasons. Future updates may change this, but as of now, the option is disabled.
Why Would You Want to View Your Own Profile as Someone Else?
Social Media has greatly changed how we communicate with others. It is made by posting our thoughts and daily habits second nature. However, taking for granted what we upload can lead to a lot of security risks for both you and your family, and should not be ignored.
People underestimate the amount of data that can be gleaned from a simple picture. A street sign, a landmark, or even just the surrounding houses can give away your location to anyone persistent enough to try and find it. Not to mention all of the location data that can be hidden in the image file itself.
If you are posting images just to show off to friends, that is well and good. But it is an easy enough mistake to forget to switch back privacy settings once it is been made public. Viewing your profile as someone else allows you to see which posts you have made available to everyone else.
By doing this you can quickly decide whether these posts are OK to be left to your public profile or subsequently be made private. The ‘View As’ option is a tool that allows you to see all of your public posts at once and eliminates the tedium of checking the settings of each individual post.
Other Privacy Settings Options That You Should Keep in Mind
Other than the View As feature, there are other settings on Facebook that can help you keep track of what appears on your page, and who gets to see it.
1. The Friends List
Surprisingly, a good number of Facebook users do not realize that the Friends List itself can be used to filter which people can see your posts.
You can group friends into categories, then choose which of these groups can see a particular upload you have shared. To do so, follow these steps:
- Open your Profile Page.
- Click on ‘Friends’ just below your banner.
- On the list of friends that appear, click on the three dots next to the users’ name.
- Choose either Close Friend, Acquaintances, or Add Friend to Another List.
- If you choose to add to another list, you can classify them as Restricted, or create a new list to group them into.
- Clicking on your choice automatically saves your selection.
- The Next time you share something on Facebook before you hit the Post button, you can click on the dropdown arrow to the right of the News Feed option. This allows you to select which groups will be able to see your post.
- On the home page, tap on the Friends icon on the top menu.
- Tap on All Friends.
- Choose which friend you wish to add to a group, then tap their name to open their profile. Tap on the friend icon that is between ‘Message’ and the three dots. This will open a small menu.
- Tap on the Edit Friend list. Choose which list to add them to, then tap that.
- Repeat the process for all friends that you want to add to a particular list.
- Before you tap on a post when sharing things on Facebook Mobile, tap on the Public icon just below your name. Choose which group you want to see your posts.
2. The Activity Log
The Activity Log, as the name suggests, keeps a record of all actions taken when you’re browsing Facebook. From posts and searches to likes and tags, everything you do is recorded here.
You can actually use this feature to go back to the time that you created your Facebook Profile. With this tool, you can quickly check which posts are tagged as public, as it will be marked as such in the details. To open the Activity Log, do the following:
- Navigate to your Profile Page.
- On your banner or cover photo, click on Activity Log.
- A list of all your activities should be shown. From here, you can click on the Edit button on the rightmost part of a particular activity to Delete it, allow or hide a post from your timeline, or mark posts as spam.
- Go to your Profile.
- Tap on the three dots on the right side of Add to Story.
- Tap on Activity Log on the menu that appears.
- You can view the options for each activity by tapping on the three dots for each entry.
3. Your General Settings
Facebook provides a lot of options to adjust your security settings like location, passwords, and general profile information. These can be accessed through the General Setting menu.
A particular piece of information that you may want to disable is the Location Settings, as it will display the place where you make your posts from. To open the General Setting menu, follow these steps:
- Click on the dropdown arrow in the top right corner of the menu besides the help icon.
- On the menu, choose and click on Settings and Privacy.
- You can choose which information to change on the left menu. Just click on a particular option then change the data.
- On the home menu, tap on the rightmost icon, it is the one beside the bell.
- On the menu shown, scroll down then tap on Settings & Privacy.
- Tap on Settings.
- Choose the information that you want to edit, then adjust your settings as you see fit.
4. The Timelines and Tagging Menu
Set under the General Settings shown above, this is a particular option that you really should pay attention to. As much as you can set the privacy of all the posts that you make, other people posting things to your timeline can render all your precautions fruitless. To prevent people from sharing things on your timeline without your approval first, enable review options by:
- Open General Settings as above.
- Click on Timeline and Tagging.
- On the Review menu, make sure that ‘Review posts you are tagged in before the posts appear in your timeline?’ option is set to On. If not, click on Edit, then set it to on.
- Do the same to Review tags people add to your posts before the tags appear on Facebook? to prevent friends from tagging people you do not want to show the posts to.
2. On Mobile
- Open the Settings & Privacy menu as detailed above.
- Scroll down to Settings.
- Tap on Timeline and Tagging.
- Change the settings as you see fit.
Keeping Track of Your Uploads
In these modern times, social media has become something so mundane that it’s generally taken for granted. People post almost anything and everything, from big celebrations to what they’ve had for lunch. Keeping track of what you upload is important though, as you don’t want to share things with people who were not meant to see them.
Do you have any additional thoughts on how to view your profile as someone else would view it? Share your ideas in the comments section below.