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Facebook Graph Search: A Helpful Tool or Invasion of Privacy?


July 31, 2013 http://www.southuniversity.edu/whoweare/newsroom/blog/facebook-graph-search-a-helpful-tool-or-privacy-invasion

Earlier in July, Facebook introduced a new feature called Graph Search. Now, when you type a user’s name in the search bar, Graph Search allows you to search for specific items including public posts, likes, location, photos and interests. You can use broad searches as well as more specific ones like "pictures of my family before 2011" or “Friends who live in Savannah and are nurses.”

Facebook search bar

Graph Search improves Facebook’s search functionality by taking information that was previously very hard to stitch together and making it easy to search, helping you to identify people with common interests and quickly find specific photos or content. However, if you can easily find this information about others, remember that your Facebook friends, friends of friends and even the public may be able to find the same information about you!

Protecting Your Privacy

With the introduction of Graph Search, it may be time to change your privacy settings—especially if you’re uncomfortable with people searching for your old Facebook pictures and statuses, or if you don’t like the idea of showing up in a search based on pages that you’ve liked and music or interests that you’ve listed on your page.

The easy way to protect yourself from unwanted privacy intrusions is to go to your privacy settings and click “limit past posts.” This will turn all old posts to a “friends only” status with the click of a button. However, if you want some things to stay public or to be visible to friends of friends, you’ll need to do it the manual way by clicking “Use Activity Log” and going through each post one by one, changing settings as needed.

Facebook Privacy

Business Insider created this great step-by-step guide to help you keep your information private. If you don’t have time for that right now, here are the basics:

1. Go to your Privacy Settings and check who can see your posts: public, friends, friends of friends, or only you.

2. If you want some posts to stay public, click "Use Activity Log" and scroll through your history, editing the privacy settings for each one as you go.

3. To change who can see your profile information, go to the “About” page on your profile and click the "edit" button next to each category.

What’s your opinion on Facebook's new Graph Search? Feel free to share your thoughts on the South University Facebook page!

Tags: student life social media

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