Is It Possible for Someone Else to See My Facebook Chat Sessions?

by David Nield

The chat and messaging sessions you have on Facebook are kept private between you and the other recipients. It is not possible for anyone not included in the chat to see the exchanges. Your chat and message history are kept automatically for your own reference, but you can permanently delete individual messages and entire conversations at any point.

Viewing Chat History

To view your chat history, log into Facebook and click the "Messages" link. Real-time chats and email-style messages are combined together into the same conversation for each contact. Scroll down to see conversations in chronological order and select any conversation to view it. Hover over the list of contacts at the top of a conversation to see the users included in it – all of these Facebook users are able to see the message history, but it is kept private from everyone else on the network.

Adding and Removing Contacts

To add someone new into a conversation, click the "Actions" drop-down menu and then "Add People." Enter the name of the friend or friends you wish to invite into the conversation and click "Add People" to confirm. Anyone you add will be able to see all of the previous messages in the conversation as well as future ones. You cannot remove anyone but yourself from a conversation. To do this, choose "Leave Conversation" from the "Actions" drop-down menu; you will not receive any further messages from this particular conversation.

Deleting Messages and Conversations

Individual messages or the entire conversation can be deleted by selecting the relevant options from the "Actions" drop-down menu. Conversations you've deleted will still appear in the messaging history for the other users in the conversation. Alternatively, you can choose to archive the conversation, which hides it from view but keeps it accessible through the messages search tool. Archived conversations reappear whenever a new message is appended to them.

Account Security

To prevent other people from accessing your chat sessions and viewing your message history, choose a lengthy password including numbers and punctuation, and change it on a regular basis. If you are using a shared computer or mobile device, make sure you sign out of your Facebook session every time you've finished using it. Make sure your associated email account is well protected, and set up a special security question through the Facebook Account Settings page to add an extra level of protection to your account.

About the Author

An information technology journalist since 2002, David Nield writes about the Web, technology, hardware and software. He is an experienced editor, proofreader and copywriter for online publications such as CNET, TechRadar and Gizmodo. Nield holds a Bachelor of Arts in English literature and lives in Manchester, England.

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