Facebook Search: 5 Privacy Fixes - InformationWeek

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12/9/2014
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Facebook Search: 5 Privacy Fixes

Facebook's search engine, Graph Search, makes it easier for friends to find old posts buried in your profile. Here are five ways you can review your content and adjust your privacy settings.

posts by a particular word or phrase, which could be helpful in weeding out any egregious or embarrassing activity.

If you find a post you want to remove, hover over the pencil icon and click delete. Depending on the type of post, you may also have options to change the audience it's shared with.

2. Review posts you've hidden
Hiding a post on your profile isn't the same as deleting a post -- hidden posts are still searchable, but they aren't viewable on your timeline.

To review posts you've hidden, visit your Activity Log and click "Posts You've Hidden" on the left-side menu. This will sort the posts, pictures, and other content that aren't on your profile but will still appear in search results.

Hover over the null icon to remove a tag or delete it from your profile. To change the audience of a post -- which you can do only if you posted it -- hover over the friend icon beside it and change the privacy of it. You can use the search bar at the top and the timeline slider on the right side to drill down further.

3. Review posts you're tagged in
The photos, updates, and videos that friends have tagged you in may also appear in searches. To review these posts, click "Posts You're Tagged In" from the left-hand menu on your Activity Log. This view will show you both posts in which you tagged yourself and posts in which others have tagged you. If you find anything you don't want associated with you, remove the tag by clicking the pencil icon.

4. Limit the audience of past posts
If you don't want to spend the time to review individual posts, Facebook has a blanket setting you can use to change the privacy of your past posts.

Go to your Facebook Settings page (also accessible using the small down-arrow in the upper right corner of Facebook), then click Privacy from the menu on the left. Under "Who can see my stuff?," find "Limit the audience for posts you've shared with friends of friends or Public?" Then click Limit Past Posts.

If you use this tool, content you shared with friends of friends or public will change to Friends. A few things to note: If you want to undo it in the future, you will need to adjust the audience of each individual post. Also, this tool will not change the audience of past posts if you shared something with a custom audience, such as including or excluding certain friend lists.

5. Turn on Timeline Review
Because content others tag you in can appear in Facebook Search results, you may want to vet these tags more closely moving forward. Facebook has a setting that lets you review posts that friends tag you in before they appear on your profile.

Find this in your Facebook Settings under the "Timeline and Tagging" option. Under "Who can add things to my timeline," turn on "Review posts friends tag you in before they appear on your timeline?"

If you turn this on, you will need to manually approve posts you're tagged in before they're posted to your profile. This only controls what's allowed on your timeline; posts you're tagged in still appear in search, but Timeline Review will make you more aware of what friends tag you in, so you can remove the tag if necessary.

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Kristin Burnham currently serves as InformationWeek.com's Senior Editor, covering social media, social business, IT leadership and IT careers. Prior to joining InformationWeek in July 2013, she served in a number of roles at CIO magazine and CIO.com, most recently as senior ... View Full Bio

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