If you’ve ever given your phone number to Facebook, anyone can find your profile by running a Facebook search on that number. And we mean anyone with a Facebook account—not just your friends.
Security researchers have demonstrated that it is possible to exploit Facebook by connecting hundreds of thousands of phone numbers with their owners’ names.
Even though Facebook lets anyone find you through a reverse phone number lookup by default, you can prevent it from happening by changing your settings. Here’s how to make your phone number unsearchable on Facebook.
How to Make Your Phone Number Unsearchable on Facebook (Facebook Website)
Step 1. Log into your Facebook account.
Step 2. Click on your profile picture icon on the upper right-hand side and select “Settings & privacy” and “Settings.”
Step 3. On the left-hand side, click “Privacy.”
Step 4. Scroll down to “How people find and contact you.” Next to “Who can look you up using the phone number you provided?” click “Edit” and select “Only me.” Click “Close.”
Now you’ve limited Facebook’s reverse phone lookup so that no one can find you through your number on the social media platform.
Unless necessary, it’s a good idea to avoid giving your phone number to any social network, despite them repeatedly asking for it for “security purposes.”
How to Make Your Phone Number Unsearchable on Facebook (Facebook App)
Step 1. Log in to the Facebook app on your iPhone, Android, or iPad.
Step 2. Click on your profile picture icon on the upper right-hand side.
Step 3. Click the settings icon on the upper right-hand side.
Step 4. Scroll down to “Audience and Visibility” and click “How people can find and contact you.”
Step 5. Click “Who can look you up using the phone number you provided?” click “Edit” and select “Only me.”
Wait—It’s Not Just Facebook
Data broker websites also let people find information about you using your phone number (or name/address).
Data brokers are companies that collect personal data about you from various sources (public records, social media, etc.), compile this data into a comprehensive profile, and sell it to anyone who wants it. Read our guide on what data brokers are and what they do with your personal information.
Then, look at our data broker opt-out guides that walk you through how to remove your name from these databases. Or, let us do it for you.
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