Some people don’t care, but a lot of Facebook users aren’t too fond of receiving messages from people they don’t know. And there are plenty of reasons for this – staying hidden from co-workers, exes and the never-ending barrage of spam.
Whatever the reason behind this desire for privacy, buttoning down your message options in the Facebook Privacy Settings is the first place to start. This guide outlines the most up-to-date way to control who can send you messages on Facebook. But first, let’s see how easy it is for anyone to find you and message you on Facebook.
Who Can Message Me on Facebook?
Unless you tweak and limit your privacy settings, anyone can find and message you on Facebook. It is as simple as searching for your name and looking through the results returned by Facebook. Often, you can send a friend request as well.
Fortunately, it is relatively easy to configure your privacy settings such that only you or a limited set of people can see you or your friend list and reach you.
A tip for active Facebook messages users: Archive your Facebook messages instead of deleting them. That way they can be a part of your Facebook data backup and if required, your messages can be restored.
Control How People Can Find and Message You
Facebook seems to be constantly changing where the Privacy Settings are located and the settings that we can control for enhancing our privacy on the platform. Is it for better efficiency or something else, we’d never know. But, we keep on updating this guide to make sure you can button down any data leaks from your Facebook profile.
To control who can send you messages on Facebook, go to Settings. You can do so by clicking on that drop-down menu that is at the top-right corner of your Facebook account.
After you click on Settings, a menu with multiple options will appear on the left-hand side of the page. This page shows distinct options like General, Security and login, Privacy, Timeline, and tagging, etc.
Here you have to click on Privacy to customize who can contact you on Facebook.
In the How people can find and contact you, section, you can click on the edit option on the right side to individually customize the settings for:
- Who can send you friend requests?
- Who can see your friends list?
- Who can look you up using the email address you provided?
- Who can look you up using the phone number you provided?
- Do you want search engines outside of Facebook to link to your Profile?.
Each of these options let you fine-tune who can contact you on Facebook. If set correctly, you won’t have to deal with too many unwanted messages.
While editing you can customize your privacy by choosing from Everyone, Friends of Friends, Friends and Only me.
You can also change how people look you up on Facebook, though there is no option to limit a lookup by name. By customizing these privacy settings, you can make it harder for people to find you and message you on Facebook.
You can change “Who can look me up?” by changing whether you can be found using the email address or phone number in your profile (choosing either Everyone, Friends of friends, just Friends, or Only Me). You can also turn on/off whether you’re OK with search engines linking to your profile.
Block People to Stop Them From Messaging You
While reducing your visibility in search and by limiting who can reach you may reduce the number of unknown people messaging you, sometimes, you might want to stop people even in your connections from messaging you as well.
The simplest way to do so is by blocking messages from specific people. To do so, go to Settings > Blocking > Block Messages
Blocking people here also stops them from sending you messages in the Messenger app. This does not block people from your friend list, nor does it stop them from seeing, liking or commenting on your timeline posts.
And remember, while being able to control who sends you messages is awesome, remember to check your Message requests folder every once in a while; you never know who might not mind hearing from you.
Block Messages From People Not on Your Friend List
The settings mentioned above might be able to reduce the number of people who can message you on Facebook, but it is not a full-proof solution as you may still be visible to unknown people via Groups, Pages or even name-based searches. To absolutely stop any person from repeatedly messaging you, you might have to just block the user.
Beyond privacy settings, there are additional Facebook security settings like trusted friends and app passwords that you can explore. Also, bookmark or like this page to stay updated about any new privacy changes being made by Facebook for its users.
(Updated on 15th November 2019)