Control the visibility of your Facebook profile

Q How much can the public see on my Facebook page?

A. The visibility of your Facebook timeline to other Facebook members as well as the general Internet population depends on how much of yourself you choose to reveal in your account settings. (For quick access to Facebook’s privacy settings and explanations, click the lock icon at the top of any Facebook page to open the Privacy Shortcuts menu.)

Other Facebook users – who aren’t on your friends list – can search the social network and see basic information like your profile picture, cover photo, and country. You can see what your profile page looks like to your friends and non-friends by going to the Privacy Shortcuts menu, choosing “Who can see my data?” and selecting “Show as” under “What do other people see on my timeline?”

Posts on public pages, like a fan page for a TV show or an open discussion group, are also visible to everyone, including web search engines outside of Facebook. If you don’t want comments you’ve made on public pages to potentially be seen around the world, go back and delete them.

Although public comments may be made public, you can prevent external search engines such as Bing, Google, and Yahoo from linking your Facebook timeline in search results. The option to prevent search sites from listing your Facebook page is also in your account privacy settings. However, if you have allowed your page to be publicly searchable before, it may take some time for it to be purged from a search engine’s index.