Joining the world's most popular social network doesn't mean you have to share everything with the world.

There are ways to limit who can add you as a friend on Facebook or even find you through the site's search functions.

Limit access

If you feel you ought to appear to be a person's friend but don't want them to see everything you write, you can exclude them from seeing updates and pictures by adding them to limited profile or restricted access groups.

The Argus: Groups and limits on Facebook

It is also possible to put your closest friends in another group to give them exclusive access to your photographs and comments.

The Argus: Facebook settings for albums

Hide profile from searches

To exclude your profile from public search click on the arrow next to the word 'home' at the top right of your Facebook home page and select privacy settings.

The Argus: Privacy settings on Facebook

Click on 'edit settings' for apps and websites, then click on 'edit settings' for public search and untick enable public search.

The Argus: Disable public search on Facebook

This makes you much more difficult to find.

Default settings

The first page of privacy settings has a default option that gives you the opportunity to limit what people see. If you customise this you can automatically exclude specific groups, such as those in limited profile or named individuals.

The Argus: Facebook default settings

Limit access to profile

'How you connect' gives Facebook users the option to limit who can see your contact information, send you messages, write on your profile and add you as a friend. The default setting is 'everyone' but you can choose to exclude non friends and prevent others from posting on your profile.

The Argus: Facebook connections

Hide your details

Whenever a Facebook user publishes anything to their profile there are options to limit who sees the post or pictures. Before clicking on share think if you want everyone to see the post or would rather limit it to friends and exclude others.

It is also possible to restrict who sees your personal information on your profile. These details are edited directly from your personal profile page by clicking on info and working away around your personal details from work and education to the basic facts, as show below.

The Argus: Profile limits

If a 'friend' is making a nuisance of themselves at the bottom left of their profile there is a block option. They can't see you, you can't see them.

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