Facebook is the most extensive social media network. It has 2.9 billion monthly active users. Therefore, of all these platforms, it is the one that provides you with the broadest reach. There’s a high chance that the people you care about are on the platform.
Your contact list on Facebook is likely to consist of your family members, new and old friends, acquaintances, and even strangers. And as days pass, your contact list will grow more and more.
You can reach out to all of these people, and they can do the same for you. That raises some concerns. You may get creepy messages from stalkers or people you don’t know but know you. Also, those shady people can learn more about you through your posts.
Thus, limiting who can interact with you on the platform is imperative. Thankfully, plenty of tools on Facebook allow you to set who can contact you on the platform. Of course, it is highly recommended that you choose only the people you want to hear from.
Quick tip before diving into the things you can do: use a computer to do this. Facebook on a desktop browser will give you access to all relevant Facebook settings.
Restrictions On Who Can Find You
By default, anyone on Facebook can find you. And if they can find you, they can contact you. So, you’d want to limit who can find you on Facebook.
Facebook’s Privacy Checkup tool is one of its most important tools regarding security and privacy. A section there is dedicated to “How people can find you on Facebook.” It will give you a step-by-step process on how to make your account less discoverable to strangers. Choose it and click “Continue.”
First, the tool will make you decide who can send you friend requests. “Everyone” is chosen by default. You can edit that to set it to “Friends of friends.” If you do this, only people who are already friends with your Facebook friends can send you requests.
Note that if you do that, people you meet on vacation can’t send you requests. It has to be you that sends the request. So, at times, this can cause some inconveniences.
On the same page, Facebook will show you your pending friend requests. You may as well check that and empty it. Accept the request of people you want to accept and decline those you don’t. However, declining their friend requests may lead to awkward real-life scenarios. So, it’s best to do that only to people you personally don’t know. Once satisfied, click “Next.”
Phone Number and Email
Facebook uses algorithms that make it easier for people to find their real-life friends. For example, if your phone number is on someone’s contact list, Facebook may recommend your account to them. Furthermore, it is common for people to have the same name. So, those looking for you may use your phone number or email to find your account.
Again, by default, “Everyone” is the selected option for both of these settings. You can change them to “Friends,” “Friends of friends,” or “Only Me.” Click “Next” once done.
In the next section, Facebook tells you that search engines can link to your profile to find you more easily. Other people can enter your name on Google Chrome, for example, and Google results will show a link to your Facebook profile. You can disable this feature if you don’t want others to find you through that method.
Click “Next,” and the Privacy Checkup is done.
Unfriend or Block
As stated above, some of your Facebook friends may be strangers. Their friends can find you and send you friend requests if you set “Friends of friends” in the setting mentioned above. Since you are trying to limit who can contact you on Facebook, unfriending them is best.
Go to your Friend list and find the people you don’t know personally. Then, visit their profiles. Click “Friends,” then “Unfriend.”
Facebook would not notify them of your action. And since they also don’t know you personally, they may not notice. If they do, they are not likely to care.
You can also unfriend people you no longer want to hear from – your ex, for example. But do it if you really want to sever your connection with that person. Unlike strangers, they will have opinions about you doing it.
People you unfriended can send you a friend request again. Also, they can still message you on Facebook. If you want to cut ties with that person, use the block feature instead.
When you block someone on Facebook, they can’t use the platform to reach you. They can’t see what you share, tag you on posts, add you to events, and message you. As with unfriending, Facebook would not notify them that you unfriended them. But they may notice that they can no longer get in touch with you.
Limiting Who Can Interact With Your Posts
Other users can only comment, react, or share your posts if they can see them. And there’s a tool that allows you to select the audience for your posts. You can set that to “Public,” “Friends,” “Friends except…,” “Close Friends,” or “Only Me.”
Also, in some regions, you can lock your Facebook profile. That makes people you aren’t friends with unable to see what you post and view the full-size version of your profile picture and cover photo.
Limit Who Can Contact You On Facebook Messenger
Messenger and Facebook are connected but are not the same. So, people on Messenger can also reach you. Messages of people that are not on your Friend list and you haven’t chatted with go to the “Message Requests” box. You can choose to reply to them, ignore them, or delete them.
Using the mobile app, you can control who can send you message requests. You can set whether friends of friends and other users not on your Friend list on Facebook can send you message requests.
That’s it! That is how you can restrict who can contact you on Facebook.