Facebook Graph Search: Privacy nightmare is preventable

I saw this in the local Columbus DISPATCH, originally from Salon. While it is good to frequently audit your Facebook privacy setting (in light of their ever-changing settings), now is an especially opportune time.

You might also check out the function on Facebook to “Download a copy of your Facebook data” on the General Account Settings page.

Facebook Graph Search: Privacy nightmare is preventable if you change your settings

If Graph Search is a privacy nightmare, it’s sort of like the kind in which you find yourself out in public with no clothes on. The bad news is that what’s seen can’t be unseen. But the good news is that it won’t happen if you’re already dressed. That is, Graph Search won’t take any information that you had set to private (or “friends-only”) and turn it public. So if you don’t want strangers to see your profile’s naughty parts, you can go to your Facebook privacy settings right now and cover them up.

There’s an easy way and a hard way to do this. The (relatively) easy way is to click “limit past posts,” which will turn all of your old posts to “friends only” in a single swoop. But if you want some things to stay public, or to be visible to friends of friends, you’ll need to do it the hard way, which is to click “Use Activity Log” and go through all of your old posts one by one. Oh, and you’ll also want to double-check the privacy settings on your “About” page, which controls who can see the basic information on your profile.

Again, the basics are:

  1. Go to your privacy settings and check who can see your future posts and past posts.
  2. To hide individual posts or likes, click “Use Activity Log” and scroll down through your history, editing the privacy settings for each one as you go.
  3. To check who can see your profile information, go to the About page on your profile and click the “edit” button next to each category.

For those who want more details, Facebook has a couple of videos explaining the process, while Business Insider has a handy step-by-step guide. If it all sounds a little confusing, that’s because it is. But if you care at all about your privacy and aren’t ready to take the ultimate precaution, it’s worth the trouble to spend an hour or two doing it now in order to prevent future humiliation..

Business Insider has a handy step-by-step guide