Browse Facebook Privately and Anonymously

Episode 975 (02:10)

Leo's Mom wants to do something that many users probably want to do -- see other Facebook accounts without being public themselves. Facebook hides the ability to do this, and the default when creating an account is to be public. Here's how to make an account that's as private as possible:

Create a Facebook page that has no information in it, not even a photo. It may even be a good idea to lie about your age and say you're 100 years old.

Next, go into the Facebook account settings > Privacy. There are a couple of categories with a few options under each.

Under "Who can see my stuff?", you'll have a choice of Public, Friends, Only Me, and Custom. Leo chose "Friends" for his mom. He did this because he can limit who her friends are.

Under "Who can look me up?", Leo chose "Friends", which is the most locked down option provided. There's another option called "Do you want other search engines to link to your timeline?" Make sure to uncheck this box.

Then, click on "Timeline and Tagging" on the left-hand side of the settings page. Under "Who can post on your timeline", Leo set it to "Only Me" because he doesn't want anything to show up on her timeline at all. Also turn on "Review posts friends tag you in before they end up on your timeline".

In the "Who can see things on my timeline?" section, Leo set everything to only "Friends."

Now she should have a generic Facebook account that contains no information about her, and she will be able to see the pages of family members. Leo advises that this is more of an experiment though, because he can't say definitively that this is going to work. There's no telling what Facebook may do next.