Privacy Protection & Graph Search

Facebook’s Graph Search is a powerful search engine with deep connections to Facebook profiles.  Graph Search will connect the world like never before.  It will allow marketers more opportunities to reach their target demographic.  But, for the average user, it will also jeopardize a great deal of their privacy!

There are, however, a number of changes to privacy options one can make to protect sensitive information from Graph Search.

Post Privacy


Use the audience selector, which appears next to the Post button in the post box, to control who sees your messages. You can choose the audience for every status update, posted image, and even your Friend List.  Public messages can be accessed by anyone on Graph Search.

For better protection, change your privacy settings in a more permanent way. Click on the Update Info button on your Cover Photo. It will bring you to all of your public information (Likes, Photos, Friends etc.). Click on the edit button in the top right-and corner of each section to adjust your information. From there, you can limit who sees this info, and protect it from Graph Search.  You can also remove anything you may not want others to see on your profile.

To adjust the audience settings of posts you made in the past you have two options: scroll through the timeline and change them individually, or go to ‘Limit Past Posts’ to change the audience for all at once.

People Protection

We all have a story or two about someone who was fired for what they shared on Facebook. If not, you’ve heard a story from someone else.

Many employers use Facebook to screen prospective employees.  If your Facebook reputation is less than perfect, you can set your privacy options such that only friends can find your information with Graph Search.  To do this, go to your ‘Basic Info’ edit page and select Friends in the audience selector next to each section, as stated above.

Protect Your Photos


Though you may not find your photos incriminating or embarrassing, the wrong person under the wrong context might! Not to mention the people who may use your photos to steal your identity or create fake pages.

Protecting your photos is a bit of an arduous task, as it must be done manually.  Click on the lock icon on the top right corner of your profile page, then click “See More Settings.” Under “Who Sees My Stuff” click on “Use Activity Log.” On the right of every post, tag, like, photo or comment, click on the audience drop-down list and choose the setting you’re comfortable with (we suggest Friends).  You can also remove or untag any photos you would rather not have on your profile at all.  You may be prompted  to confirm ‘I want this photo removed from Facebook’.

Protect Your Places

Facebook Graph Search will allow people to discover places such as restaurants, event venues, parks and other places based on where friends and other people within a geographical region have visited.  Unless your privacy settings are controlled, you may expose where you are, were or will be to anyone who searches for it.  To erase a trail of locations tagged by others or added by you, go to your timeline and scroll down to “Places.” There, you will see a map of places you’ve been or tagged as purple circles.  Click on any place you wish to remove and click “Report/Remove tag.”

Many users already have Graph Search, but most don’t know just how it impacts their privacy.  As stated in our article last week, Facebook Graph Search vs. You, 13 million Facebook users have never adjusted their privacy settings. Many uninformed users will unintentionally allow the world access to private information.

Protect your privacy from Facebook Graph Search.  Whether you already have it or plan to get it when it officially launches, it is crucial that you review your privacy settings and correct them now!


Jake Burns