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Facebook just changed your privacy settings – how to change them back

Facebook has changed your privacy settings, again, this time making your status updates public – but you can update our settings. Again.

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Facebook now defaults status updates to public

Facebook has stealthily removed your privacy setting for Timeline searches which allowed you to remain somewhat hidden. What does this mean? It means that you are now searchable by anyone and everyone else on Facebook. You used to have a setting called, “who can look up your Timeline by name?,” which controlled whether you could be found when people typed your name into the Facebook search engine. But, this setting has been removed because most people were not using it and it has become outdated with the addition of the “graph search.”

Facebook stated, “whether you’ve been using the setting or not, the best way to control what people can find about you on Facebook is to choose who can see the individual things you share.” I am a big believer in the privacy settings, simply because there are some things I share on my page that I do not want everyone to see: family updates, where I will be on the weekend, and such. These are not things I want to share with my entire friends list, just a select few. However, by removing the Timeline privacy setting, Facebook has upped the ante a bit.

They are pushing users to control privacy on a post-by-post basis, rather than the original blanket privacy control center.

How to control your data

This setting, in my opinion, is not as critical as it sounds. The “who can look up your Timeline by name” feature was meant to limit who could view your information within your circle of friends, not hide you completely. Friends and friends-of-friends, could click your name on a page you “liked,” photo you were tagged in, or event and still access your Timeline. This setting was confusing and glitchy with the upgrade to “graph search.”

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If you are worried about what you share, do not forget about your “lists.” You can create a list for any group of people you choose and then share with only this group. And never post to “public” because these posts can be found by anyone, anywhere, through almost any search engine: post to “friends” instead, if you are concerned.

Also, to further control what people see across the site, use Activity Log to review individual things you’ve already shared. Here you can delete things you may not want to appear on Facebook anymore, untag photos and change the privacy of past posts. To find the Activity Log (and other privacy settings), click the lock icon at the top of every page to use your privacy shortcuts.

Lastly, if you don’t want your future status updates to be made public for all to search, go to your privacy settings and change “Who can see my future posts?” from “Public” to your desired settings:

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The American Genius is news, insights, tools, and inspiration for business owners and professionals. AG condenses information on technology, business, social media, startups, economics and more, so you don’t have to.

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