Facebook announced Monday, September 30 an extension of the content exploited by its internal search engine ” Graph Search “, presented at the beginning of the year. Unlike a traditional search engine, Graph Search does not search the entire web, but only among the content published on the social network.
As of Monday, Graph Search has been able to search through Facebook member statuses, comments, photos posted, or where they say they are, the group said on its official blog. From now on, Internet users will be able to explore the profiles of their contacts, by typing for example, “posts on ‘Dancing with the Stars’ published by my friends” or even “messages written to the White House”.
“This is being developed slowly, for a small group of people who currently have Graph Search, and we will continue to improve it by listening to their feedback,” Facebook said, without indicating when the service would be more widely distributed. The site reminds us that the search engine respects the confidentiality criteria for publications. It only allows you to find content that contacts have agreed to share with the user or public content.
An even sharper search engine can be frightening when you don’t want to reveal too much of your private life on social networks. You have to see the bright side of things: on Facebook, you also have tools to lock your data.
In order to prevent strangers from knowing the details of each of your publications, you must change all the posts that are accessible to “Public” or to “Friends of friends”, so that they are only visible to your friends.
To do this, click on “Confidentiality shortcuts” (the little padlock at the top right of the site’s home page). A drop-down menu appears: click on “Show more parameters”.
There you see several options, including “Limit audience for old posts”. Click on it.
You get an alert message from Facebook: “If you use this tool, the content in your diary that you have opened to friends of your friends or to the public will have the Friends setting. Remember that people who are identified and their friends can also see these posts “.
The social network, which wants to scare you, also tells you that you could rather “change the audience of each publication”. Don’t be fooled and click the “Limit old posts” button.
There, Facebook tries to talk you out of it again with a very threatening message that appears in a pop-up window: “You are about to limit all your old posts in your newspaper without first reviewing them.”
While specifying that this change is reversible: “Note – This global change cannot be undone all at once. If you change your mind later, you will need to change the audience for each post.” Take your courage in both hands and click on “Confirm”.
Facebook makes amends: “Audience for selected content has changed.” Victory! You are protected from Internet users with whom you are not friends. Your Facebook friends can still search for your posts and statuses.
Hide your past from your friends
How to hide the posts you are ashamed of from your Facebook contacts? Here you have to remember exactly the date on which you published the message you want to delete or restrict. In the sidebar on the right, you can choose the year.
Once you’ve located the post whose privacy settings you want to change, click on the little gear, next to the date (and possibly place) of publication. You can then :
1 – Limit the publication so that you are the only one to see it, by choosing “Me only”.
2 – Prevent a group of friends from seeing the post. To do this, you must first have created lists of friends (“Family”, “Work”, “Promo 2009” for example). This allows you to share statuses or photos with one of these predefined groups, or conversely, to avoid broadcasting content to them. Here, click on “Custom”, then choose to whom you do not intend to distribute your publication.
If you don’t know where you are, feel free to use the “Profile preview as …” feature, accessible by clicking on the nut below the cover photo on your profile page.
You will then be able to see what your personal page looks like for one of your contacts in particular.
3 – Delete the publication. To do this, click on the small arrow to the right of your text and choose “Delete”.
Unfortunately, whatever you choose, the maneuver must be repeated for each post.
Protect your future
Now that you’ve done your best to protect your privacy, current, and past, don’t forget to set your default sharing setting for future messages.
Whenever you post a new status, photo, video, your default sharing setting is the same as your previous post. For example, if you have shared content in “Public”, your next content will also be in “Public”.
Click on the nut at the bottom of the text field, and choose with whom you share your publications: “Public”, “Friends” or filtered according to the lists.