Facebook is rolling out a new safety feature in India that allows users to lock their profiles from people who aren’t their friends.
To protect users in India from catfishing and other misuses of their information, Facebook is rolling out a new safety feature that lets them lock their profiles from non-friends. The new profile lock feature is for everyone to use, but is especially useful for girls and women who want to have more control of their experience on the platform.
As Ankhi Das, Public Policy Director at Facebook India, explained, “We are deeply aware of the concerns people in India, particularly women, have about protecting their online profile.”
When activated, profile lock stops people who are not friends from viewing photos and posts, as well as zooming in or downloading a user’s profile picture or cover photo. Instead of delving into specific privacy settings, users can lock their profile in just a few taps – limiting non-friends’ behavior on their profile.
“We have often heard from young girls that they are hesitant to share about themselves online and are intimidated by the idea of someone misusing their information,” said Ranjana Kumari, Director at New Delhi-based women advocacy group Centre for Social Research. “I am very happy to see that Facebook is making efforts to learn about their concerns and building products that can give them the experience they want. This new safety feature will give women, especially young girls, a chance to express themselves freely.”
To activate the profile lock, a user needs to tap on “More” under their name, then tap the “Lock Profile” button and confirm when the prompt appears.
The new feature is an extension of a similar one from 2017, that helped protect users from catfishing, called Profile Picture Guard. The feature lets users protect their profile image from being zoomed into and shared.
According to reports, the profile lock feature is currently also available to users in Bangladesh.