Many people love to use Facebook to connect with old friends and keep up with long distance family members. In fact, some are using the social networking platform as an email tool for messaging people in their contact list, but since Facebook makes it easy to keep in touch with friends it also means that people we don’t really want as friends could potentially directly message us too. And since there are stalkers in real life there are stalkers on Facebook as well.
There are different levels of stalkers. Some are just old friends who won’t go away, some are creeps who can’t take a hint, and others can be stalkers who will stop at nothing to keep in touch with you and message you constantly. Even though Facebook is not the only route a stalker may take to contact you, there are several things you can do within Facebook to keep that stalker at bay.
You cannot just expect to unfriend your stalker and expect all your problems to be solved. Even people who are not your friends on Facebook can still see your profile and anything you share publicly. So you will want to actually block them, and there are several ways you can do that.
1) Managing your block list
Especially if you have a problem with multiple stalkers you will want to use a block list to keep tract of them all. Under your privacy settings you should see a link called “block lists”. Just click edit and you will be able to enter a Facebook user’s name and email address to block them. With over 750 million people on Facebook chances are your stalker shares a name with someone else in the network as well and you can search by pictures to see which one is your stalker. So if your stalker has a common name and decided to switch out his profile picture for something nebulous this may be a little tricky.
2) Blocking from the profile
On every person’s profile there is the option for blocking that person. It is under the “report/block this person” link. You can also give the reason for your blocking them from a list of choices which are: inappropriate profile photo, fake profile, inappropriate profile info, or unwanted contact. For a stalker you will want to choose the last option.
3) Block your stalker’s messages
Facebook also makes it easy to block a person through their messages. On the page where you view the messages you should see a link to report the message, and there you can block that person from ever contacting you again. You can also give a reason for blocking them and the options are: credible threat of violence or sexually explicit. Your stalker will not know you have reported them, but they will automatically be removed from your friend list and you will just disappear from each other on the social network.
4) Make your profile private
Stalkers can be pretty pesky and chances are that if you block one he will just open a new account under another name. For this reason you should make your profile completely private so only your friends can even view your profile page and public information. You will need to go under your privacy settings again and under your basic directory information choose the option so only friends can view your profile. This will not completely hide you though, as Facebook allows anyone to always be able to see your name, gender and profile picture.
5) Customize your privacy settings even more
Facebook is always adding new features to help users customize their settings for their needs and to satisfy their worries about using the social networking platform. Go through those settings to make yourself less visible on Facebook so you don’t pick up any more would-be stalkers. You can make any information on Facebook visible to everyone, friends of friends, just friends, or just you. Be careful when choosing the friends of friends option because you do not know all of your friend’s friends and they will be able to see your entire profile unless you customize those settings.