Facebook's Graph search: Why you need to fix your privacy settings now

Facebook's Graph Search is finally here and while it's a great feature which will certainly help with finding restaurants, movie picks, old photos etc from your circle of friends, remember that every bit of information you put out on the site, can now be organised into some form of search.

So it's a good time to review the privacy settings your Facebook Timeline in order to ensure that pictures, posts, etc that you don't want to share with everyone on your FB list remain private. Graph Search is still in beta mode and available only to a few English (US) users but there's no reason why you shouldn't prepare before hand.

Here are some quick tips on how to go about this:

The share icon on your Posts, Pictures, Location check is very important: Every time you share a new picture, post an update or share a link on Facebook, double check the icon that comes next to it. If a globe shows, it means your picture/post is visible to the general public at large on Facebook and not just your friends. You can click on the icon and change it to just friends, or just you, or even custom set it to some people. Also if you have divided your Facebook friends into lists, you can choose to share it with just one particular list of friends.

But remember, these posts/pictures may appear on other people's NewsFeeds if they comment on them or they choose to share it or if you tag them in it.

Facebook's Graph Search showing photos based on year. Yes that is the entire Zuckerberg clan in case you're wondering. Image from Facebook

Review your Activity log: This is one of the best ways to go around tweaking and fixing your Facebook life. The Activity log tab is on the top right corner of your Timeline and this will show you the list of all your photos, posts etc, even if they are hidden from your Timeline. You can look at Photos, Posts which you have put up or you are tagged in, and then go around tweaking the privacy settings of each post. Remember you can't change privacy settings for posts, photos etc which have been put up by friends. At best you can untag yourself.

You can choose to set everything at friends only, but it could appear in other people's Graph Search depending on the tags you've used in a photo or post. If you have tagged someone else in a post, remember their friends can also see it. Photos that are untagged but not deleted can still be discovered by others on Facebook.

The About section: Graph Search will also be searching based on Places. So if you don't want to make known which city you're living in, you should go to the About tab on top of your Timeline and start making edits. You can control who can see your current city, your mobile number, which college you went to etc in this section and in each information box you can choose to change the settings to Only Me or just Friends.

Likes and Location tags: These too shall be a part of Graph Search. Your friends or friends of your friends will be able to search based on Likes or even Locations. Every time you check into a restaurant or mall, Graph Search could show it to them if they too search for the same place. Also if your friends add location tags to photos or posts in which you too are tagged, then Graph Search will reflect that as well.

To undo Places you've been to, go to the Place tab which is on the top right column of your Facebook Timeline. You can click on the map and it will show you places you've been tagged at. Say you've been tagged in 9 places in Mumbai. Click on that, it will show you the posts where you are tagged. If the post is public means other people can find it on Facebook. You can change it by clicking on the icon.

Similarily on your 'Like' tab, you can choose who sees what brand pages you like on the social network. If all your likes are public, they could appear in other people's Graph Search as well.

Published Date: Jan 18, 2013 09:00 am | Updated Date: Jan 18, 2013 09:11 am

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