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Saturday, June 30, 2012

How To Hide Your Facebook Email Address From Your Timeline

A while back, Facebook launched its very own email service and encouraged users to claim their @facebook account. The feature wasn’t that popular because, in all honesty, on your resume might make an employer think twice about hiring you. Considering the lengths companies go to prevent people from using social media sites at work, that email might have been trouble anyway. The good thing about it was that it was totally opt-in until yesterday, when Facebook decided it was going to give you your @facebook email whether you liked it or not. If your About page displays your email address to everyone, it will now have your @facebook address as your primary email contact. In case you were wondering when you allowed Facebook to change your contact info, you never did. Read on to see how you can hide it, and what implications the change will have.

Sign in to Facebook and visit your profile page. Open the About section and scroll down to your contact information. You will see you new @facebook email listed as the primary contact. Click Edit, pull down the permissions menu (the one with the little circle) and choose Hidden from Timeline. Click Save, and the email will no longer appear on your About page. That’s it!
facebook email
If you think the email feature is harmless, you should be aware of the implications of this “imposition” from Facebook. The email now allows people who you don’t know and are completely out of your network, to message you on Facebook. Provided that they have your profile link, they can guess what your email will be, since the emails are based on your profile’s vanity URL. Your profile content may be hidden 100%, but the URL will remain visible, and your @facebook email can be guessed. Emails sent to this ID will appear in your Messages and will allow people to communicate with you. It doesn’t even matter if your ID is set to be available for you only, you will get the messages.
The new emails haven’t been rolled out (read: enforced) for users who do not have Timeline. For public figures or people who would love to grow their number of friends, this might be a blessing, but since it provides an open gateway for just about anyone to contact you (like email marketers, cyber bullies, scammers), most users will want to hide it.
The downside is that it can’t be disabled, just hidden. Previously, it wasn’t a big deal, because not everyone was using Facebook’s email, but now that it has been mandated and is the exact vanity URL of your profile, you can expect to hear from a lot of people you don’t know. It isn’t clear just how good Facebook’s spam filters are, so be careful about clicking links. The ‘feature’ was rolled out very quietly, but still deserves the same amount of attention and resentment most changes get.


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