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How to prevent people from seeing your recent activity on Facebook

Hiding Facebook recent activity
Facebook changed its privacy controls a few times in 2010, and while it's now quite easy to block entire groups from seeing your location or contact details, there's no obvious way to hide your recent activities.

Recent activities are everything you do on Facebook, from commenting on a friend's wall to posting photos or changing your relationship status. If a friend visits your profile they can see all of your actions -- a humbling thought, eh? -- unless they don't have permission.

Put simply, the only way to prevent people from seeing "John Lonelypants is now single" on their News Feed is to change your privacy settings so that your current relationship is hidden from your friends. This in turn makes any relationship-related status changes invisible.

Likewise, the only way to prevent other people from seeing which things you 'like' is to prevent them from seeing all of your likes and interests. It's either one way or the other with Facebook's current privacy model.

To begin, click Account in the top right corner, and then Privacy Settings -- or click this link.

In the Sharing on Facebook block, click the Customize settings link at the bottom. Now you need to decide what activity remains private. If you want to hide your relationship-related activity, click the box next to Relationships and then Customize. Select Only me from the dropdown.

Repeat the same for any other activity that you want to keep private, such as your Facebook Places check-ins, or photos you're tagged in. On another topic entirely, you can also change the Can see Wall posts by friends selector so that only you can see your friends' posts on your wall -- quite useful if you have a very wide range of friends from different social circles on Facebook!

To block people from seeing your 'likes,' go back a page and under Connecting on Facebook select View settings. At the bottom is See your likes, activities and other connections -- change it to Only me.

In all these cases, instead blocking everyone, you can always type specific friends into the 'Hide this from' text box.

For more Facebook and tech tips, check our tips index.

Tags: facebook, privacy, recent activity, RecentActivity, relationship status, RelationshipStatus, social networking, social networks, social-networking, SocialNetworking, SocialNetworks, status, status update, StatusUpdate, tips