What the Facebook?!

The folks at Facebook clearly have some time on their hands! The ever-changing privacy settings have been baffling users for a few years now and they show no sign of stopping. The latest “update” removes the option to be unsearchable by your name. Also, their new graphs feature makes it easier to find people with a combination of common characteristics that someone is looking for. Now, any person that you have not personally blocked can search for your timeline by looking for your name or searching “people that love cat videos living in Columbia, MO”.

What does this mean for you?

While you may think that evidence from your night out is well-kept on your “private” page that is not the case anymore. As the folks at TechCrunch.com outlined, those who are hidden will now be exposed, for lack of better terms, open for search by any person-or company- that knows their name. A private Facebook is no longer a safe place to store your virtual dirt. With the graph search function, users can scour not just for someone’s profile but for any old photo comments, posted pictures or break-up statuses from so long ago.
These changes have also made it much simpler to find information and posts from years past. In conjunction with your updated timeline, having your old status updates and pictures available to the public could pose a problem.

So, what should you do next?

Do not worry, no one is telling you to completely wipe your Facebook clean and start over. It may be beneficial, however, to take some time and really look through your privacy settings. Micheal Richter, Chief Privacy Officer of Facebook.com, has even created a guide that elaborates on what aspects of the site are affected by the new changes. Also, check out this helpful infographic from visual.ly and then spend some time and make sure no one is seeing what you do not want.

Good luck guys!