The privacy layers on Facebook are significantly more detailed than those that are found on rival social media platform, Twitter. There are a whole host of options available to users on Facebook, varying from who is allowed to add them as a friend on the app to who is able to access their uploaded photographs. Whereas on Twitter, users are simply given two account options – private or public.
The in depth security and privacy settings that Facebook possess are a massive selling point for the platform and one that should give their users peace of mind in regards to having control over who sees what. Or should it? In this article, we are going to see if there is a loophole in the system that allows individuals to see your private Facebook photos and also look at how to adjust all of your settings to ensure you have the securest account possible.
Viewing private Facebook photos – Is it possible?
The first point to cover here is the meaning of the phrase ‘private Facebook photos’. In this instance, we are talking about viewing the photos of a Facebook user whom you aren’t friends with on the app. There are a few options available to you when it comes to this, with some more ethical than others.
The best way to view private Facebook photos is to simply add the person in question on the platform. Simply use the search bar to search for the account, click on their profile and then send them a friend request. There may well be certain images on their profile that they’ve left available to the public or ‘friends of friends’ but to access their full catalogue you are going to need to be their friend.
If this method fails then ideally you will respect their privacy and be on your way. However, if you are determined to find these private photos for something important then there are a few ‘sketchier’ methods that you can try in a bid to to view them. Let’s take a look:
Add them on a secondary account
Despite what we said earlier about Facebook having tight security settings, there is one glaring red flag that they are yet to address and that is the issue of individuals having multiple accounts on the platform. Providing you have a different email address or phone number to the ones you provided on your primary account, then you will be able to sign up to a new account.
Once you’ve signed up and verified your account via email or phone you will then be able to try adding that user again but on this account. It’s unlikely that whoever you are wanting to add will accept a friend request from a stranger so try adding some of the users on their friends list to build a bank of mutual friends first.
Try a third party app
If the in-app methods stated above don’t work then you could always try a third party app in a bid to gain access to private Facebook photos. Please note that there will be a whole host of apps out there claiming to offer this service, but only a few are worth trying (and won’t give your device a virus) and even those are very hit and miss.
There used to be a couple of reliable Google Chrome extensions which did this job well, however Google removed them from their service for ethical reasons.
How to tighten your Facebook security
After considering all of the points above, it might be worth revisiting your Facebook security/privacy settings to ensure your photos are hidden from the public. To gain a tighter grip on your privacy on Facebook, please follow these instructions:
- Log on to your Facebook account via the app.
- Select the three lined icon on the bottom right hand side of the screen.
- Select the toolkit icon on the top right hand side of the screen, to the left of the magnifying glass.
- Scroll down to privacy and select ‘privacy settings’.
- Under ‘your activity’ ensure everything is marked as ‘friends’. Or, for the tightest security imaginable, change it to ‘only me’.
- Select the ‘limit who can see past posts’ button and select ‘limit past posts’. This will ensure that everything you have posted in the past will be changed to mimic your current privacy settings.
- Head back the ‘privacy settings’ section and select ‘profile and tagging’.
- Ensure everything on this page is also marked as ‘friends’ or ‘just me’.
You can also change your privacy settings for each individual image. This is perfect if you only want your friends to see certain images but are happy for the wider public to see others.
To do this, all you have to do is select the drop down button on the top of the post which will automatically be marked as ‘public’, ‘friends’ or ‘only me’ depending on your overarching settings. From there you’ll be able to change your privacy settings for that individual photo or album.
Facebook generally offers quite a lot of privacy and security options for users, like the ability to encrypt messages (though it is also possible to decrypt Facebook conversations if you know how to).
To conclude, we would urge everyone on Facebook to respect other users’ privacy and not to try any unethical methods to gain access to private images. If someone doesn’t want to be friends with you on the platform then you should just accept it and move on. With that in mind, we hope that the privacy instructions above will help all Facebook users to tighten the security on their accounts.