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Frequently Asked Question #24. How do I control who can read my journal entries? How do I view only journal entries with a certain security level?

When you post an entry, you can choose a security setting which controls who can see your entries. Your entry security can be Public (visible to everyone who reads your journal), Friends-only (visible only to people on your Friends list), Private (visible only to you), or Custom (visible only to members of the custom friends groups you choose).

When you are logged into your account, you will always be able to see your own entries on your journal, no matter what security setting you use. If you have a paid account or the journal you are viewing is paid, you will also be able to select only those entries that have a specific security setting.

Using Security Levels

When you update your journal, select a security level from the "Show this entry to:" drop-down list. If you do not select a security level, it will use your journal's default. Later, you can edit that entry's security level or change the security of multiple entries all at once.

To post a Custom-filtered entry, select the "Custom..." option and then check the boxes corresponding to the groups you want to show the entry to. (If the checkboxes do not appear, you should check that JavaScript is enabled on your web browser.) If you select multiple custom friends groups for an entry, the entry will be visible to any user who is in any of the groups you selected.

Other methods of updating your journal (such as mobile posting and voice posting) have different ways to set the security level for a new entry. Additionally, many downloadable clients allow you to set and edit entry security levels. For information on a specific client, consult its documentation or its menu options.

Display of Security Levels

Many styles use security level icons to indicate the security of an entry:
  • Public entries do not have an icon.
  • Friends-only entries are depicted with a lock:
  • Private entries with an eye:
  • Custom entries display two different lock icons: for the journal owner, or for people other than the journal owner.

However, some styles use different icons or text labels.

When you post an entry to one or more custom friends groups, the Custom icon () and the list of the groups to which the entry is filtered are visible only to you. Members of your custom friends groups will not be able to see whether or to whom an entry has been filtered; to them, the entry will look the same as a Friends-only entry.

Filtering by Security Levels

If you have a Paid or Permanent account, you or anyone viewing your journal can filter your entries according to security levels. You can also choose to view only those entries with a particular security level in any journal you view.

You can filter entries by security level by using a URL in the format of http://exampleusername.livejournal.com/security/securitylevel, replacing exampleusername with the username of the journal you are viewing and securitylevel with the appropriate security level. You can use the following security levels:

  • Public: http://exampleusername.livejournal.com/security/public
  • Friends-only: http://exampleusername.livejournal.com/security/friends
  • Private: http://exampleusername.livejournal.com/security/private
  • Custom: http://exampleusername.livejournal.com/security/group:groupname, replacing groupname with the name of the appropriate custom friends group (if the name of that group contains space characters, replace them with the code "%20"; for example, to filter your own journal to the "Default View" group, use http://exampleusername.livejournal.com/security/group:Default%20View)

Last Updated: November 1st, 2011

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