Facebook Tip: How to avoid friend requests from spammers

Recently I complained (using my account’s rarely updated Status Update) on Facebook about receiving a flurry of friend requests that are obviously from spam accounts. The requests feature profile photos of, well, let’s just say these photos indicate the requester may have a future in the fast-growing field of professional “marketing contracting.

To prevent such requests from making it to my in-box, I changed the privacy settings on my Facebook account so that only “friends of friends” can request to “friend me.” (The spam requests come from new accounts with no friends displayed.)

As a couple of friends (the real kind) have asked me to explain how I adjusted my privacy settings, I thought I’d post it here for the 499 million users of Facebook who find it difficult to figure out the settings.

Here’s all you have to do:

1. Use the pull-down menu under the tab “Account” and select “Privacy Settings.”

2. Click on the “View settings” link found under the heading “Basic Directory Information.”

3. Choose “Friends of friends” from the options for the setting “Send me friend requests.”

If you get such a request, you can always block and report the spammer, but I didn’t volunteer to be a Facebook policeman, so I’d rather they just disappear.