Since January 1, I’ve started each morning by clearing out a dozen or so friend requests from Facebook, all of them from people I don’t know.
I’m not exactly sure why all these great new bots, many of which appear to be non-English-speaking, are suddenly interested in my virtual friendship, but I do know that their presence is pretty annoying.
If you, like me, have started to get an uptick in those spam friend requests, there’s a quick and easy thing you can do to help tone them down: change your privacy settings.
Facebook has a privacy setting that allows you to dictate who can send you requests. It defaults to letting everyone, even bots, send you a request.
On your desktop, log into Facebook and then click the downward-pointing arrow at the top-right side on the page. From there, select Settings from the drop-down menu.
Select “Privacy” from the left column menu to bring up the site’s privacy settings and tools.
From there, Click the “Edit” button beside “Who can send you friend requests?” to tweak who is allowed to request a spot on your friend’s list.
Instead of “Everyone” I recommend changing your settings to “Friends of Friends.”
Presuming your friends haven’t friended a bot, then changing this setting should prevent any randos from friending you.
Worth noting: It also makes it so real people you meet while you’re out and about won’t be able to send you a friend request either unless you already have a friend in common.
For me, that’s not a huge deal, since most of the “new” friends I make tend to be people I’ve met through another buddy, but if you’ve just started a new job or moved to a new place and are trying to make some new pals, changing this means you’re going to need to be the one to initiate that friend request rather than the other way around.
Still, if you’re being bombarded by spam requests, it’s a small price to pay.