In July 2013, Facebook released Graph Search — and many people instantly upped their paranoia when it comes to social media stalking.
This new feature actually isn’t all that “new” since a special group of people had access to it starting in March.
It’s basically a mega search machine that lets you easily scan through the information of the one billion members to find pictures; you can search for things like “friends drinking” or “British people in the US.”
It might not seem like that big of a deal, but it means your information is more public and there’s no telling when those old spring break photos of you might pop up in the search.
The biggest concern many members have is strangers now have access to their personal data. However, there are avenues for increasing your privacy.
If it’s been a while since you checked out your Facebook security settings, it’s time to do it again — begin by clicking on the padlock in the upper corner and make sure the “who can see my stuff?” settings are to your liking.
You can even make sure a certain person — whether a specific “friend” or the public — sees only what you want them to by clicking on “view as.”
Upping Your Security
Much like online banking resources for businesses, your Facebook page probably has a lot of personal information you’ve forgotten about — like that time you mentioned a trip to a tiny credit union.
When you’re setting up “who can see my stuff?” you have full control of everything from photos to comments.
At the moment, the new Facebook Graph Search scans for all information, not just graphs/images, but also posts. Even if you liked a photo years ago, it’s now public property unless you change your settings.
If you’ve been tagged in photos, review these by checking out “photos” on the left side of your activity log and make sure they’re appropriate.
You’ve probably been pretty vigilant about the photos your post, but it’s easy to forget about that embarrassing photo tag from 2006.
It’s simple enough to untag yourself, and your own photos can be customized to be available to just you, the public or just friends.
However, one of the biggest privacy issues with Graph Search is the pages you’ve liked.
Your Liking Spree is Over
When you check out your profile’s “about” page, you’ll see a plethora of movies, quotes, celebrities, causes and pretty much anything else you’ve liked over the years.
It may take some time to go over all of your likes and ensure everything is okay.
Remember that time you “liked” the new strip club opening in town because you got a free steak dinner by doing so?
That’s probably not something you want future employers to stumble across.
However, if you’d prefer to keep all those likes for whatever reason, you can always edit your likes by clicking on the “edit privacy” button, but you’ll need to do this for each category of your likes such as music and movies.
However, if you’re okay with everything you’ve done — but not so sure about those tags — you can opt to be notified every time you get tagged by going to the account setting’s “timeline and tagging” feature.
You have the option to review tags you’re posted in before they appear — which can avoid embarrassment down the road.