Facebook phonebook is a feature, not a threatI've been seeing over the few months on Facebook numerous status updates and posts on friends' walls about what a threat or invasion of privacy having your phone number available through Facebook is. To respond to some of the misinformation that is out there, I figured I'd find some information available to clear up any confusion so that everyone can make an informed decision and take the the necessary action steps if you decide to do so. Below is an article available at All Facebook.
began spreading back in June, however as of today it appears that the message has experienced a resurgence in volume. For those who aren’t aware, the “Facebook phonebook” is a feature that enables you to easily keep track of your friends’ phone numbers, including the ability to sync it with your own mobile devices. Want to hide your phone number anyways?I'd love to hear your thoughts on this issue.
How To Hide Your Phone Number On FacebookIf for some reason you don’t want all of your friends viewing your phone number (I personally limit it to my family and close friends), you have two options: remove it from your profile or use Facebook’s privacy settings. The problem with not entering your phone number is that Facebook actually uses the number to verify that it’s your actual account. As such, I don’t recommend using this model. Instead, go to the privacy settings area (found here) and click on the custom tab on the left, and then on the “Customize Settings” link, as pictured below. After you’ve landed on the custom privacy settings page, scroll down to the “Contact Information” area. In that area you’ll see settings for each of your contact items including your phone, address, IM screen name, and any email addresses you have added to your account. You can customize who can view each piece of information by clicking on the drop down box next to “Mobile phone” or “Other phone” and then select “Custom”. Once you do that, you should see the following dialog box: Ultimately it’s up to you how you set your phone number visibility, however I have limited my number to friends only. If you want to get really specific with the people who can view your phone number you can select the option “Specific People…” and then manually type in the name of each person who can have access to your phone number. Alternatively, you can block anybody on the site (including your friends) from seeing your phone number by selecting the option “Only Me”.
ConclusionYou are now safe! While you shouldn’t be concerned about the phonebook being a security issue, you now can protect yourself further if you haven’t limited your phone visibility to your friends.