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Facebook has decent privacy controls, but most users don't realize how to take full advantage of them. Ars guides you through Facebook's privacy settings so that you can be both social and respectable at the same time.

Everywhere you look (even here at Ars), there are articles about people making poor decisions about what kinds of info and how much to share on sites like Facebook. The Internet is no longer a place where you can hide out easily-friends, family, and employers are all lurking, reading your embarrassing status updates and checking up on those drunken pictures from last week. And that's just the beginning-the world of social networking is a feeding ground for identity thieves and stalkers, too.

But it doesn't have to be that way. Many users are aware that Facebook has numerous privacy controls, for example, but even the most experienced Facebook users often don't know just how much they can control who sees what. For instance, did you know that you can specify exactly who can see your status updates, down to different groups of friends (not just "friends" versus "everyone")? What about controlling which groups of people can even find you in a Facebook search to begin with?

If you don't want to be socially available at all, then the solution is right in front of you and you can stop reading! However, if you have been wondering how you can be socially available on Facebook while still keeping your privacy under control, this guide is for you.



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