How Do I See Who Is Following Me On Facebook – And Why You Shouldn’t Be Asking This Question

How to alleviate security concerns over who is following you on FacebookIn light of the recent news about Facebook security hacks, there has been a lot of focus on how to ensure that your Facebook data isn’t compromised. Some of the most frequent questions I hear from people concerned about their Facebook security, include:

  • How do I find out what my Facebook privacy settings are?
  • How can I “lock down” my Facebook to make it more secure?
  • Is Facebook really selling my data or is that just “fake news”?
  • How do I know who is following me on Facebook and how can I restrict people from following me?

While there are plenty of articles and instruction guides on the first three, the last one is a question that I find is a nebulous. The last couple of times the question was asked, I responded with “why are you concerned about who follows you on Facebook?” Then answers ranged from simple, like “I just want to know” to downright nefarious like “I saw an app that told me it could help secure my Facebook account by showing who is following me.”

That second answer really disturbed me.

With the exception of Facebook’s own security checkup, which can be accessed by clicking here (you must be logged in to Facebook before triggering it), you shouldn’t trust any app that proclaims to show you your followers.

Let me repeat that.

You SHOULDN’T trust any app that proclaims to show you your followers on Facebook.

Why? Because Facebook apps, by definition, require you to give them certain permissions in order to interact with your Facebook profile. In the case of these “follower apps”, they are asking you to give them permission to read and collect the information not only about your followers, but about your friends. In fact, as recently as September 2017, a pretty sizable group of people fell for a hoax where they were typing “following me” into their Facebook search and were tricked into giving permissions to an app that then harvested their Facebook data. In reality, the app didn’t help anyone find out who was following them…it just appropriated their data.

So, how do you find out who is following you on Facebook? The only answer is to use the Facebook following list. To access that list:

  1. Login to Facebook
  2. Click your profile photo to access your public profile
  3. Click the “Friends” tab right under your cover photo
  4. On the friends page, click the “Followers” tab

By doing that, you will see a list of people who are following you. These are folks who generally want to see your updates, but may not want to be your Facebook friends.

So…why should you stop being concerned over who is following you?

The answer is because that question is focused on the wrong aspect of the problem. The better question to ask is “Who am I sharing things with?”. While you have little to no control over who follows you on Facebook, you have ABSOLUTE control over who you share posts with. Rather than worrying about who might be creeping on your profile, take some time to go through the security checkup and lock down posts that you don’t want visible to the public.

I hope that helps some folks out there. Facebook definitely is at the center of some serious privacy concerns, but the more control you take over your privacy, the more you can minimize the risk associated with posting things on the social network.

Have a tip or trick for locking things down on Facebook? Be sure to share them in a comment.

Cheers!

–Sean

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