How to Clean Up Your Facebook Profile

If you have a Facebook account, you need a Facebook cleaner.  Why?  It doesn’t matter how diligent you are about keeping questionable posts and photos off your profile: Trouble can follow you.

Facebook is a wonderful social tool…until it’s not.  That tongue-in-cheek comment you made?  Those photos from your cousin Josh’s drunken bachelor party in Vegas?  During these times of record unemployment, not everyone will give you the benefit of the doubt.  You have the best chance of keeping your paycheck, not to mention your friends, by cleaning up your Facebook profile.  It’s easy to do with the right tools.

Why You Need to Clean Up Your Facebook Profile

Facebook isn’t LinkedIn.  But potential employers may still take a peek at your profile.  It’s one way to get to know you.  Just as in a job interview, you’ll want to put your best foot forward.  There’s a lot you can do, such as updating your profile picture, the About section, and your Intro.  But how about all those old posts from five years ago?

Get rid of posts and photos that do not accurately reflect the person you are today. There are two ways to accomplish this.  You can use the built-in bulk delete tool on Facebook.  Or you can use a third-party tool.  Facebook also has some shiny, new internal capabilities.  Let’s take a look deleting posts there first.

Open your Facebook app, then:

  • Tap your avatar on the top left.
  • Tap the three horizontal dots.
  • Select Activity Log, then Manage Activity.
  • From there, select Your Posts.
  • Select the checkboxes on the left to select an action.
    • Archive lets you hide the posts from everyone except you.
    • Trash lets you delete the posts, although they can be recovered for 30 days.
  • To delete the posts right away, select Trash on the same screen.
    • Select the posts again, then tap the trash can icon.

If you prefer, you can access Facebook on the website.

  • Open your profile.
  • Under the status update box, select Manage Posts.
  • Select the posts you want to delete or hide.

You can also go through your posts individually and place a control on who can view the posts.  You’ll simply tap the three horizontal dots to access the menu beside each post.  This allows you to Edit Audience on the website or Edit Privacy on your mobile. 

Should your social media profiles be public? How to decide.

How to Delete Photos on Facebook

Now, let’s get rid of some incriminating pictures.  Here’s how you can delete photos in your profile.

Profile Picture

You don’t need a professional headshot like you’d use for LinkedIn.  At the very least, though, make sure you’re not sporting a Speedo or a lampshade.  If you want to replace your profile photo, here’s how to do it:

  • Click on your profile image and select Update Profile Picture.
  • Select Upload Photo from your mobile device photos, computer or select one that is already on Facebook.

Cover Photo

Your cover photo is the large one at the top of your profile. To change it:

  • Go to Profile Page and click Edit Cover Photo.
  • Click Select Photo to choose one already on Facebook or Upload Photo to select a new one from your computer or mobile device.

Photo Albums

  • Go to your profile page and select Photos.
  • Select the Albums tab.
  • Select the album you want to delete.
  • Click on the three-dot horizontal menu.
  • Choose Delete Album.

Facebook Cleaners

As mentioned, there are also a couple of third-party options to clean up your old Facebook posts.  Here are two popular choices:

Jumbo

Jumbo Privacy lets you delete old posts and manage your privacy settings using weak, medium and strong settings.  The app does not facilitate anything you wouldn’t be able to do with Facebook’s own settings, but Jumbo takes Facebook’s complicated process and makes it much easier.  With the medium setting, for example, you can allow friends only to see most of your profile information.  Jumbo is free, with options to purchase and pay what you think is fair for an upgraded version.  The developers are committed to providing the service for users who can’t afford a payment and may only need to use Jumbo once, for example, to clean things up for a job hunt.

Scrubber

Scrubber is a third-party service that scans your social media history looking for those embarrassing posts, comments or pictures you may have long forgotten.  Scrubber uses a proprietary database to search for profanity, slang and innuendo.  Further, you can add people as well as phrases to the search just in case you have your own unique brand of objectionable material.  The results appear in a free report. Once you have the information, you can go on a search-and-destroy mission.  This can be rather time-consuming, however.  If you have lots of items that need cleaning, you can pay Scrubber a reasonable monthly fee.  You can then access the offensive items directly from the report with a single click.

Maintain Your Facebook Profile

Once you clean up your Facebook posts and photos, continue to be vigilant about what you share and who you friend.  Don’t post what you don’t want the world to know. Also, control how you are tagged in photos and make sure you’ve set the appropriate level of security on your Facebook account.  

You may also want to leverage a people search tool like Spokeo to get a full picture of your digital footprint.  Simply look up your name to get a sense for what others — whether they be potential employers or scammers — and learn about you from a quick internet search.  From there, you can go about removing any information you may not want to have on the web.  The diligent oversight of your online presence can definitely pay off in better job opportunities, improved social relationships and a Facebook profile you’ll be proud to share. 

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