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NEW DELHI : Facebook on Thursday announced the launch of a new safety feature which allows users to lock their profile restricting the access to the profile photo and posts of their account from anyone who is not in their friend list. The feature will be rolled out over the next two weeks.

When a user locks his/her profile, non-friends cannot zoom into, share or download full-size profile picture and cover photo of a user. Once a profile is locked a tag stating the profile is locked will appear on the profile page of the user.

To enable the feature, a user has to tap 'More' under their name on Facebook profile then select 'Lock Profile' and tap again to confirm.

The social media platform, with more than 300 million users in India, said that the feature is inspired by the need for safety and security for users especially women when it comes to their photos and content being shared on its platform.

Ankhi Das, public policy director, Facebook India "We are deeply aware of the concerns people in India, particularly women, have about protecting their online profile. Today, we are announcing a new feature which, in one easy step, will give people a lot more control, ensure their privacy and keep them safe and secure online."

The new feature builds on the existing safety tool 'Profile picture guard' launched in 2017 which keeps the profile picture safe online and prevents non-friends of a user to download, share or misuse the picture. Although existing privacy settings allow users to control who can view their pictures and posts with options such as 'Only Me', 'Friends only' and 'Friends of friends' it is cumbersome to change the settings. The lock profile feature simplifes privacy settings creating a safety net through one click.

The India specific feature launch comes days after Facebook was embroiled in a controversy of a lewd group of teens sharing pictures of young girls and making comments on sexual assault on a closed Instagram group.

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