Unraveling Social Media One Tool at a Time
Now that Facebook has kicked its Graph Search into high gear, plenty of my Facebook friends are worrying about privacy again. Some have even used the moment to spread a Facebook urban myth which I thought had gone away.
Beware of the message in which your Facebook friends demand that you roll your cursor over their photos and then do all kinds of things or risk that they will never speak to you again. At least not on Facebook. Bottom line: Most of the advice included in that message does not work, or at least does not remedy the problem you are trying to fix. Mythbuster Snopes.com does a great job of dissecting the issue. So next time a friend posts the warning on Facebook send them this.
Graph Search has not significantly altered Facebook privacy settings, but it has made it much easier for others to find out that you like beer and The Walking Dead. I view checking privacy settings in the same way as changing the batteries in your smoke detectors: It is a good idea to do it every few months. So if you don’t want everyone to know that the New Kids on the Block used to be your favorite band, you might want to log on to Facebook, and click on the little wheel in the upper right hand corner.
Click on “privacy” and make sure your settings are where you want them to be. My default is “friends” not “public” in almost every case. This can get very tricky with photos if you have friends who like to tag you in photos. This expands the audience to your friends, and to the friends of others who are tagged. And, of course, those photos will come up on a Facebook search. If you are vain, like I am, you can search “Photos of me” click on the unflattering ones, and then, remove the tag. That way, it will not come up in a search. If it is an offensive photo or a photo of your child perhaps that you do not want out there, you can also ask that it be removed.
In general, I try to be a good friend by opting not to post photos of my friends’ children on Facebook. If I want to share a photo with them. I email or text it.
I make all my photos accessible only to friends, but during my recent review of my privacy settings, I found that two of my Facebook photos albums were on the public. The photos were harmless, but I changed the setting to reduce the audience to friends. And, of course, I un-tagged a couple photos that my “I only have eyes for you” husband thought were more attractive than I did.
As always, make the assumption that what you post online can reach a broader audience.
For more tips on checking your Facebook privacy settings, check out these two links: