Facebook introduced “Graph Search” on Tuesday, a new search technology that allows users to search and filter through content that has already been shared by their friends. For instance, if you wanted to know the best deli on a certain block in Manhattan, you could search through your friends’ posts and tags to see if they had ever been there, reviewed it or Liked it. In short, anything you’ve shared on Facebook will become searchable by whoever you allow to see your profile. Of course, this raised a lot of questions about the security and privacy of users’ content.
Facebook released the video shown below to help explain how Graph Search would affect user privacy, and they have a full page dedicated to Graph Search and Privacy:
In short, Graph Search “makes finding new things much easier, but you can only see what you could already view elsewhere on Facebook,” said Facebook in a press release. Perhaps most distressingly, any photo tagged of you and made public by a friend can show up in a search for the location in which the picture was taken. This was the policy before Graph Search, but now those pictures will just be easier to find. According to Mashable, Facebook will shortly be asking users to carefully review what they have on the site and what privacy settings they currently have in place.
Here is a quick list of things you should do to better protect your privacy from the far reaches of Graph Search:
- Restrict “Who can look me up?” to just Friends.
- Don’t let search engines link to your Timeline.
- Review all of your posts and things you’re tagged in.
- Limit who can see your future posts.
Here is a screenshot that shows the Facebook Privacy Settings screen where you can edit this information:
You can use this link to take you straight there. (You must be logged into Facebook for it to work.) We recommend using the Activity Log to review items that might need your attention.
It is also a good idea to lockdown your Timeline and Tagging settings:
This new tool undoubtedly has its benefits, and takes Facebook’s mission to become a global community one step closer to actualization. However, the ability to search for any publicly posted opinion or photo may rub some users the wrong way.
There is no doubt that Graph Search is a game changer on so many levels. It offers tremendous opportunities for Facebook page owners, marketers and even users active on the platform. But the privacy conscious individual should always be proactive when in comes to protecting personal data.
Below, we have compiled a list of other links you might find interesting about Graph Search and your privacy:
How do you feel about Graph Search? Do you think it will anger users, or light a fire under them to tighten up their security settings?
DoNotTrackMe protects your privacy by blocking online tracking. Abine – Online Privacy Starts Here.
BitDefender Safego is a Facebook application you can install that will scan your News Feed and help keep you safe from scams on Facebook.
PRIVATE WiFi® is a Personal VPN that encrypts everything you send and receive. Don’t access Facebook from a public WiFi hotspot without it.