In the early part of 2013, a certain group of Facebook users were provided the opportunity to try the site’s much-hyped Graph Search function. The Graph Search function of Facebook performs similarly to the regular search function. However, there are some significant differences.
The Graph Search function indexes all user photos, comments, interests and Likes to make them accessible for everyone else to find. Everyone else could include friends, fellow employees, exes, advertisers, bosses and even law enforcement officials.
Some concerned users have referred to Graph Search as a nightmare for their online privacy. It’s important to note that Graph Search will not take any private (“friends-only”) information and make it public.
Facebook presented Graph Search to a small audience earlier in 2013. Now, the function is available to all users. In terms of finding a lawyer, accountant, beautician, real estate agent or other professionals, Graph Search could serve as a useful tool. In a recent study by Stik, it was found that 9 out of 10 individuals trust a friend’s recommendation more than other sources of information.
Still, the personal and professional ramifications of having your information displayed for all to see online could be devastating. If you needed an excuse to examine your privacy settings, this is the time. Otherwise, a whole host of embarrassing facts might come back to haunt you in the near future.
If you prefer for strangers not to see your entire profile, you can visit the Facebook privacy setting right this minute and protect it. The easiest way to protect yourself is to select “limit past posts,” which turns all old posts to the setting “friends only” in one shot.
If you’d like for certain things to remain public, or to be visible for friends of friends, it requires a little more hard work. Click “Use Activity Log” and examine each of your old posts one at a time. Check the privacy settings located on the “About” page, which is the main control for what basic information is visible on your profile.
Untagging yourself from photos used to require time and energy, but Facebook’s Activity Log makes this a more convenient task. Simply open your profile, select “Activity Log,” then “Photos,” then “Photos of me.” At the top of the profile, “On Timeline” allows the user to review photos. “Activity Log” lets the user bulk-untag photos up to ten at a time.
• Access your privacy setting to see who can view your past and future posts.
• For hiding individual Likes or posts, click “Use Activity Log” and browse your history, editing each privacy setting as you scroll down.
• To find out who can view your profile information, visit the About page and select the “edit” button posted next to each category.
For users who are confused about privacy settings, Facebook has posted some convenient videos that help to explain their scope. Meanwhile, Business Insider published a step-by-step tutorial that educates the user about monitoring their account. At times, establishing solid online reputation management practices will take professional guidance. An online reputation management company such as Reputation Advocate or Reputation Management Guys can provide assistance for you or your business if negative Facebook content needs to be addressed.
If you’re concerned about your online privacy, it’s worth the effort to spend a couple hours taking precautions so that you can prevent future headaches. Plus, reviewing the history in your activity log will help you become more familiar with how Facebook’s privacy settings are set up.