It Is Worth Rechecking Your Facebook Privacy Settings
Facebook, which ironically started life as a private network accessible only by a few select US college students, recently implemented some changes to the default privacy settings on user accounts.
The changes were made in early December last year, and were pre-empted by a series of messages that appeared on user profile pages informing users of the pending changes. FB users were given the option on these messages to simply “Accept Facebook recommend privacy settings” when the changes went live. If you did, you wouldn’t be bothered with any more messages, or have to worry about adjusting your privacy settings when the changes were implemented.
At least that’s what a fair number of users would have assumed. Unfortunately many users are not aware of what the default/recommended settings are, and may inadvertently have given Facebook the right to share a lot of information with “Everyone” on the network!
Yes, the new default setting for who can see your Status Updates is “Everyone”.
If you accepted the new recommended settings then you voluntarily gave Facebook the right to share the information about the items you post with any user or application on the site. Depending on your search settings, you may have also given Facebook the right to share that information with search engines, too.(source)
Whilst you are in the Facebook privacy settings, it may also be worthwhile checking whether some of your “personal information” is also not being viewed by “Everyone” or “Friends of Friends”. This information includes items such as your birthday, your religious and political views, and your relationship status.
While “Friends of Friends” sounds innocuous enough, it refers to everyone your friends have added as friends, a large group containing hundreds if not thousands of people you don’t know. All it takes is one less-than-selective friend in your network to give an unsavory person access to this information.(source)
As Sarah Perez of ReadWriteWeb suggests in the title of her article for the New York Times The 3 Facebook Settings Every User Should Check Now, go check these and the other Facebook privacy settings on your account right now.
Like exactly what information of yours can be indexed by search engines, and therefore possibly be seen by people in search results screens.
Did you even know there was such a setting?