Facebook Graph Search: What Does Your Digital Fingerprint Say?

Although its cliche, the expression if you’re not paying, you’re the product, still proves to be true. Facebook recently announced that it will begin displaying pop-out video ads this summer, eliciting a firestorm of negative attention. Although Instagram is currently ad-free and growing at an even faster rate than Facebook, consumers should expect advertisements in the pipeline. facebook graph searchAs if the evidence wasn’t already clear that the customer is the product on most (all?) social networks, Instagram has received negative criticism for its terms of use, which dictate that users’ private photos are owned by Instagram, and can thus be sold, and remarketed without users’ permission.

Although the temptation may be to toss your computer out the window and move to an isolated cabin in the woods, hold it right there!  Here are some Facebook privacy tips, courtesy of ABC News’ Joanna Stern:

  • Set your default preferences to share with friends only.  Underneath any status update or photo you share is a small toggle that allows you to select with who you would like to share that piece of content. Set it to “Friends” and it will automatically default to that setting on anything you share.  You can always expand it to “Public” or “Friends of Friends” but it’s better to play it safe with the default setting.
  • Go through your likes. The Graph Search searches your likes. As Gizmodo points out, you can search for “People who like…” and it will return some shocking results. Maybe you “Liked” something in college, like “Weed” or something else that you wouldn’t like at this point in your life. This is the time to go clean that up. Unlike!
  • Go through your photos.  Graph Search can also search photos. Now is the time to go through photos that are tagged of you and un-tag the ones you don’t like or may be inappropriate. Facebook’s new privacy tools have made this easier to do. Click the little lock icon in the upper right-hand corner, select “Who can see my stuff?” and then “Where can I review all my posts and things I’m tagged in?” That will take you to the Activity Log, where you can select the photos tab. There you can see if photos are public or private.
  • Go through your friends and make lists. This is the one that can take the most time. You can create different lists of people who have different access to your information. Go to your Friends list from your Timeline and you can see which of your friends is on which list. You can even create new lists and permissions for each list.  View your Timeline as a specific person by going back to that lock icon in the top right corner and selecting “What do other people see on my Timeline?”
  • Keep it up.  Lastly, make sure you keep an eye on what you share and with whom you share it. The search function is going to make finding information much easier on Facebook. Just make sure you want the info you share to be found. 

By: Jay Glazer

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