Social media giant Facebook is opening up a new search function for its billions of users.
Facebook’s Graph Search allows users to filter through photos, people, places and business pages to find activities, locations, groups and people who have posted on their timelines similar activities. Using complex data processing and transfers from Facebook to third-party software – apps and widgets – users will be able to look for information on everything from music and movies to food and services.
This search capability is expected to encourage users to share more interests on Facebook. Officials say Graph Search will respect the same privacy settings that already limit the visibility of its members' pages. Facebook is the world’s largest social media network – 1 billion users.
Users will be able to review their activity log – a compilation of their likes, status updates, photo-uploads and other items – that shows a presence on Facebook. Only things included by friends and followers or marked “public” will show up in search.
Here are four things you can do to protect your privacy:
1) Lick your “likes” – Be aware the personal endorsement you give to a business or corporate page can be used to influence friends to shop there.
If you don't want businesses to use your endorsements when advertising to friends, edit your social ads setting:
1. Navigate to "Privacy Settings," found by clicking on the gear icon in the top right corner of your Facebook page
2. Click on "Ads," found in the left-hand column of the privacy settings page.
3. Click the edit link next to "Ads & Friends."
At the bottom of the page, click on the box located next to the words "Pair my social actions with ads for," select "No One," and save your changes.
2) Tackle those “Tags” – Friends can link to your profile, giving access through tags to pictures and such. Reach out to friends and ask them to guard your privacy as well. You can block ubiquitous taggers.
3) Fend off Facebook recommendations – Facebook will offer recommendations for you through the “tag suggestion.” This feature detects photos you like and uses that information to generate suggestions.
Disable the “timeline and tagging” link in the left-hand column of the privacy setting page. Near the bottom, click the edit button on “Who sees tag suggestions” and select the “No One.”
4) Pamper your page – change you settings so you get a text message whenever a friend tags a post or photo on your wall.
Change this under the “Notification” setting in left-hand column of the privacy setting page.
While Facebook’s newest release provides new search capabilities, your privacy is yours.