Some users have recently discovered that by going to Account -> Edit friends -> Contacts they can see other people's phone numbers. This prompted fears that they Facebook is sharing the phone numbers with everyone.
Facebook announced "Rumors claiming that your phone contacts are visible to everyone on Facebook are false" .
The social networking giant explained "Our Contacts list formerly called Phonebook has existed for a long time. The phone numbers listed there were either added by your friends themselves and made visible to you or you have previously synced your phone contacts with Facebook. Just like on your phone only you can see these numbers" .
However the problem is a bit more complicated. Earlier this year Facebook introduced a two-factor authentication feature which encourages people to use their phones for increased account security.
When the two-factor authentication feature is being set up there is a checkbox reading "Let my friends see my number" checked by default. Most users are likely skipping over it without reading or without understanding the implications.
And that's a problem because for some people particularly social gamers a Facebook friend does not necessarily mean a person they wish to share their phone number with.
Games are an important part of Facebook and one of the network's most attracting features. But many of these games encourage users to befriend each other in order to achieve in-game goals. In return this leaves many gamers with huge lists of friends they never met or have no interest in ever meeting let alone give them their phone numbers.
Users in this situation are advised to reconsider sharing their phone numbers on the social network. They should go to Account -> Privacy Preferences -> Customize Settings and if their phone number is listed under Contact Information they should change it to Only Me.