5 Privacy Settings To Check As Facebook Enhances its Graph Search

Akansha Pandey
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Facebook Graph Search

Last week, Facebook announced advancement in its internal search engine known as 'graph search.' This social network will now allow its users to search for posts like status updates, photo captions, check-ins and comments. This search was previously limited to user profiles, pages, people, interest and photos.

Now, this beta search tool will also help users find time and place specified information. For example, if you search ‘My posts from last year’ or ‘Posts by Social Samosa from last month’, everything will be available to you in just a click. As of now, these features are available to a finite set of users.

The privacy issue associated with Facebook’s graph search has been dealing with controversy since its launch this year in January, 2013. This step of enhancement in its searchable information definitely adds up to the fears.

However, most of the user activity and information can be protected by making some simple privacy changes. Here are 5 privacy settings to check as Facebook enhances its graph search:

1) Recheck your ‘About’ section:

The ‘About’ section of Facebook has a chunk of personal information related to an individual. It consists of  information like: current location, birthday, current employer, etc, and this list is endless. However, the amount of data shared can be always controlled by the user.

If you wish to make changes, then click the ‘Edit’ tab in the ‘About’ section and make the relevant changes. The various privacy parameters available are: ‘Public’, ‘Friends Only’, ‘Only Me’ and ‘Custom’. ‘Custom’ privacy gives a user the power to select and share posts with a limited set of audiences.

Select audience for the facebook about section Custome Privacy selection for your personal informationFacebook About section

2) Review your Status Updates:

There are few ways to regulate the way one wishes his status updates to be shared.  There are ways it could be tracked and changed. To check which of your posts are being publicly shared, navigate to your profile page, click on the gear icon at the bottom of your cover photo and select ‘View As’. ‘View As’ shows you what your profile looks like to people with whom you are not friends with.

In order to change the updates of individual posts, select ‘Activity log’ on your profile page and sort the updates by date. The other option would be to change the settings of all the old posts on your timeline. This could be achieved by selecting the gear icon and going to the ‘Privacy Settings’  on the top right hand section of your Facebook account.

Timeline settings using activity log

Under "Who can see my stuff?" click "Limit past posts" next to the option "Limit the audience for posts you've shared with friends of friends or Public." This will protect all your old posts and limit the audience for each. However, once changed, this process cannot be reverted and if in the future, you wish to make an old post ‘Public’ again, you will have to do that manually.

Privacy Settings on facebook

3) Reconsider your Comments:

A Comment made by you on your profile or on a friend’s profile is cataloged by graph search. The visibility of your comments on a friend’s profile will depend upon the privacy of your friend’s photo. To review your comments, navigate to ‘Activity log’ on your profile page, wherein select ‘Comments’ from left side panel. You will be able to view all the comments made by you on various dates. You cannot change the privacy of your comments, but you can delete them by clicking the pencil icon.

Comment review using Activity log

4)  Check your Photos' Privacy:

Pictures shared on Facebook directly relates to one's real life events. It is a collection of the precious moments of one's life and they wish it to be safeguarded. Graph search makes it easier for any user to detect old pictures, so, it becomes important to revisit the privacy of the pictures you're 'tagged' in or the albums you have published. The updated graph search will also make the captions of the images visible to you in case you need to check those too.

To review the photos you have shared or have been tagged in, visit your 'Activity log' on the profile page. After navigating to 'Activity log' from the left-side panel, select "Photos of You." Click the drop-down menu to the right of each picture to change the privacy setting, if necessary. Photos you have hidden from your timeline are still searchable. To review these photos, click the drop-down menu next to "On timeline" at the top to switch to a hidden-only view.

Photo review using activity log

Also, don't forget to change the privacy of individual albums. However, photos in albums like 'Profile Pictures' and 'Mobile Uploads', will not let you change the privacy settings of the entire album. They would need to be changed individually.

5) Review your Places:

To review all the places you checked-in, visit your 'Activity log' and on the left panel select "Posts you're tagged in." To delete a tag or change a location, click the pencil icon. Also, if you added a location tagged photo, then the photo's privacy setting will be the same as your location's privacy setting.

check-ins review using activity log

privacy settings ‘About’ section Activity log check-in places Comment made by you on profile Limit past posts Posts you're tagged in privacy issue associated to Facebook’s graph search Review your Status Updates time and place specified information