Graph Search increases need for Facebook privacy

If you are a Facebook user, we advise you to take even more care over your privacy settings in anticipation of a new feature on the social networking site.

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Facebook's introduction of 'Graph Search' on Tuesday means that you will be able to search and filter through content that has already been shared by your friends … and vice-versa. Anything you’ve shared on Facebook will become searchable by whomever you allow to view your profile. If you wanted to know the best pub on a certain road in Birmingham, for example, you could search through your friends’ posts and tags to see if they had ever been there, and written a review or 'Liked' it. And any photo tagged of you and made public by a friend can show up in a search for the location in which the picture was taken. This was already the policy, but now those pictures of you will be easier to find.

Like many other features introduced on Facebook in recent times, the announcement is raising a lot of questions about the security and privacy of users’ content. In a press release, the site says that Graph Search “makes finding new things much easier, but you can only see what you could already view elsewhere on Facebook".  It is thought that Facebook will shortly be asking users to carefully review what they have on the site and what privacy settings they currently have in place.

We recommend that if you want to protect your privacy further with the introduction of Graph Search, you should consider doing the following:

Restrict 'Who can look me up?' to Friends only

Don’t let search engines link to your Timeline

Review all of your posts and things that you are tagged in

Limit who can see your future posts

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