How to Make Your Facebook Profile Private: The Complete 2023 Guide for Small Business Owners

As an entrepreneurship consultant assisting small business owners daily, I cannot emphasize enough the importance of locking down your Facebook privacy settings. With over 1.6 billion daily active users, Facebook hosts an unprecedented amount of sensitive personal data that – if made public – can expose your business and personal life to intrusive advertising, hacking, identity theft, and other threats.

My clients often share fears over online security risks and have no idea where to even begin protecting themselves.

That‘s why I‘ve created this comprehensive guide tailored specifically to the needs of entrepreneurs and small business owners who need to keep their online presence private while still promoting their brand. Follow these best practices I‘ve developed over the past 10 years in the field to take full control over your Facebook profile privacy.

Why Facebook Privacy Matters as an Entrepreneur

As a consultant who has worked with hundreds of small business owners, I‘ve seen firsthand the array of privacy violations occurring on Facebook today:

  • Targeted ads: if your profile data becomes public, advertisers can use it to microtarget you without consent. I‘ve had clients complain of creepily specific ads stalking them across the internet.
  • Data harvesting: Facebook‘s alleged data policies have enabled the illicit collection of profile data by Cambridge Analytica and others. Personally identifiable information can easily be used for identity fraud.
  • Business fraud: compromised accounts can be used to scam your contacts and sully your business‘ reputation. 19% of organizations have experienced social media fraud.

For these reasons and more, locking down your Facebook presence is crucial for any entrepreneur. Take the following steps to avoid privacy pitfalls and take control.

Step 1: Review Existing Settings

Login to Facebook and access your current privacy permissions:

  1. Click the down arrow ??? in the top right corner
  2. Select "Settings & Privacy"
  3. Choose "Privacy Shortcuts" in the left menu

Carefully review the different sections about who can see your posts, profile, contacts list, etc. For each, click "Edit", then restrict visibility to "Only Me" wherever possible.

Additionally, browse through the "How people find and contact you" menu. I advise entrepreneurs to limit access here to prevent your personal brand from merging with your private identity without consent:

Setting Recommendation
Who can send you friend requests? Friends of Friends
Do you want search engines outside Facebook to link to your profile? Uncheck the box
Who can look you up using the phone number you provided? Friends

Following this review, you‘ve likely already vastly reduced your public exposure.

Step 2: Tighten Profile Visibility

Even more effective tactics exist to completely eliminate your public footprint. First, restrict profile visibility with these steps:

  1. Access "Settings and Privacy" ??? "Settings"
  2. Select "Privacy" in left menu
  3. Under "How people find and contact you", click "Edit" beside "Who can look you up?"
  4. Choose "Friends" in the dropdown

This prevents public indexing of your personal page.

Additionally, limit any public posts using this simple trick:

  1. Within "Privacy Settings", click "Limit Past Posts"
  2. Select "Friends" only

This hides older posts, photos, etc from wider visibility – retaining true control over your brand image.

Step 3: Adjust Tagging Settings

Facebook tagging allows others to implicate you in posts/photos without approval. As an entrepreneur aiming to curate a professional brand image, being tagged unintentionally contradicts that mission. Minimize unwanted public tagging by:

  1. In "Privacy Settings", click ???Edit??? beside "Do you want other search engines to link to your timeline?"
  2. Uncheck the box altogether

This removes your tagged photos from public search indexing, preventing unwanted attention to your private life.

I also strongly advise entrepreneurs enable tag reviewal to manually approve tags before publication:

  1. Within "Settings", choose "Profile and Tagging" in the left menu
  2. Click the toggle on for "Review tags people add to your own posts before the tags appear on Facebook"
  3. Select "On"

Activating reviewal permissions provides complete control over tags people attempt to stick you with unannounced. This prevents "tagging spam" I‘ve seen used by pranksters and disgruntled customers targeting small business owners on Facebook.

Step 4: Block App Access

Often overlooked, miscellaneous Facebook "apps" and their developers can gain access to alarming amounts of personal information if left unchecked:

  1. Return to "Settings"
  2. Choose "Apps and Websites" in the menu
  3. Meticulously review the list, clicking "Remove" liberally

I walk all my consulting clients through these steps to audit shady apps requesting sensitive permissions. Delete any unnecessary third-party connections.

Step 5: Enable Two-Factor Authentication

Finally, I can‘t recommend two-factor authentication enough – requiring both your password and a unique login code to access your account. Enable this:

  1. Within "Settings", select "Security and Login"
  2. Choose "Use Two-Factor Authentication"
  3. Click through instructions to set up

This adds an extra barrier against hacking, especially effective against brute force bot attacks in my professional opinion.

So there you have it – my comprehensive guide tailored uniquely to the privacy needs of entrepreneurs on Facebook. Consider revisiting these settings occasionally as policies change but otherwise, feel empowered tackling business growth knowing your accounts and data are fully secured! Let me know if any other specific questions come up.