In an attempt to keep up with Google and Google+, Facebook is rolling out Graph search to allow users to search through their networks to discover information about family, friends, friends of friends, and complete strangers. While Graph Search doesn’t reveal any new information about users, it does make finding existing information incredibly easy.
To see if you have this feature already or to sign up, go here: https://www.facebook.com/about/graphsearch
While FB is marketing this feature as a way to find movies, places to eat, stay and shop; we know well what it will be really used for.. To search for info on your friends and other people you or anyone else is interested in. The basis of it is what people allows as public and that little thing is what will make this feature either a success or not. The more you leave open, the more anyone can dig up on you.
Let’s say someone posts that they like Belikin, if you run a search for people who like Belikin, they will show up on your list even if you are not tied to them in any way and the same goes the other way around. Searches can be made in many ways and it may just bring up that old picture, song or post you had just about forgotten about.
Should you worry about your privacy now? What do you think? I say a resounding YES. Think about it. Because of changes made in the background of how this feature works, everything you have been sharing since you joined Facebook has created a nice little catalog in the FB databases. If you have ever liked, posted, shared, commented on or about anything crazy like lets say when you were out partying a few years back you posted a pic of you with a bong. Today you go apply for a job, you may have forgotten about that but if your employer or anyone searching for bongs or people who like bongs, guess what… Your possible employer now see it and anybody else will…
See this article for more on searching: http://actualfacebookgraphsearches.tumblr.com/
Now, don’t go all paranoid, because anything that was private will remain private, it’s entirely up to you to decide how much of your data is publicly accessible, well to a point
How to “fix” it
The developers at Facebook knew that their user base would make noise about it so they proactively setup a help section just for it here: https://www.facebook.com/about/graphsearch/privacy
If you have Graph Search and haven’t touched your privacy settings, now would be a VERY good time to do so.
Information from posts set to “Public” in the past will be available for everyone to see. If you want to change that, you can either go back and change each post’s individual setting in your Activity Log or limit the audience for all of your past posts in your privacy settings.
- The first thing you should tweak is who can see the information about you that’s in your profile. Start by heading to your timeline and click into your About section. You’ll see an edit button next to each different section. Click that edit button and then choose the type of audience you want to view this information.
- scroll down the page and you can view the different types of things that you like. If you click the pencil next to any section and select Edit Privacy you can change the audience.
- You should also check your Facebook security settings at least once a month, too; as well as your other social accounts. Social media sites change their privacy rules regularly.
This controls what shows up on your Timeline.
- Click on the little lock icon and then click on Who can see my stuff?
- Once you are in that window you can select types of posts from the left menu and then use the icons on the right to adjust the settings of who can see that particular post.
- Click Use Activity Log. This will show you a log of all your actions (comments, posts, photos, etc.) on Facebook and the visibility of each post.
- Also inside of the Activity Log is a way to remove yourself from tagged posts and photos. Under a post someone has tagged you in, click on the two-headed icon. Next, click Report/Remove Tag.
- Head to the Privacy Settings and Tools page again. Under the “Who can see my stuff option,” a drop-down of “Who can see my future posts” will show up. Click the next drop-down and change it to “Friends.”
- Deeper inside the Settings menu is an option to limit your past posts. Click the button and it will change the audience for all your old posts.
Testing it out
- Head to the lock icon in the top left corner of your page.
- Click View As and type in the person who you would like to view your page as or use Public to see what it looks like to people not in your friends list.
Happy fixin and searchin.. Keep safe, and remember; if you wouldn’t want it plastered on the wall of a public building, DO NOT post it on FB. 🙂
- Facebook Graph App Privacy (snopes.com)
- How To Use Facebook Graph Search Today to Find Music (djduece.wordpress.com)
- Worried about Facebook Graph Search? Clean up your privacy settings (globalnews.ca)
- Facebook Graph Search vs Your Facebook Privacy Settings (firebossrealtyaroundtown.wordpress.com)
- Here’s how Facebook’s Open Graph search could get you in trouble (safeandsavvy.f-secure.com)
- How to hide from Facebook Graph Search (geek.com)
- Facebook Graph Search: How to Protect Your Profile From Unwanted Searches (katenews2day.com)
- Facebook’s Graph Search Is Here. Check Your Privacy Settings. (blogs.wsj.com)