Thursday July 11, 2013 | 09:00 AM
Posted by Rob Gould

This post marks the first in a series on "Social Media and Privacy."

No, I'm not going to talk about the NSA. Or PRISM. Or Edward Snowden. Although, he is very handsome and I would accept his application for asylum in my apartment any day. I mean, who really wants to live in Venezula? It all seems very risky and humid. But, I digress ...

What I would like to cover is the issue of privacy and how it relates to social media. Facebook specifically. Especially in light of a recent developments. Let me start by saying, if you’ve ever posted anything embarrassing on Facebook, now is the time to hide it. And, as much as I'm a huge fan, I'd watch your back on Twitter too. And, I'll cover why in a future post. Today, my focus is Facebook.

For the last six months, a select group of Facebook users (myself included ... lucky me) have been offered the chance to try out the social network’s much touted “Graph Search” function. For those still unfamiliar with it, Facebook’s Graph Search is sort of like a regular search function, only much more complicated. And, potentially frightening. Graph Search indexes everyone’s likes, interests, photos, public posts, etc. making them as easy as possible for everyone else—from cops to exes to nosy neighbors to your boss to marketers both large and small—to find. Are you scared yet?

As I mentioned, Graph Search was offered to a limited audience earlier this year, but now Facebook will be rolling it out to everyone over the next few weeks. So if you were waiting for the right time to go through your privacy settings and hide the embarrassing stuff before the whole world sees it, you should stop waiting. The right time is now.

Some have called Graph Search a privacy nightmare, because it takes information that was hard to find and makes it easy to find. I don't know if I'd go that far given the fact that we surrender our privacy multiple times every day—every time we use a credit card or make a phone call or search the Internet or even walk down the street, where in many cases there are cameras watching our every move.

Finally, there are ways to protect yourself from the prying eyes of others on Facebook. Unless, of course, you're into that kind of thing. Assuming you're not, the article below will help you to take the necessary steps to keep your untarnished reputation squeaky clean. As for me, it's a little late for that.

Stay tuned for more on social media and privacy in my future posts. As always, I'd love to hear what you think. You can reach me here in the comments section or on Twitter at @bobbbyg.

How To Stop People From Snooping On You With Facebook's Graph Search - The Huffington Post


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Social media has changed the way that many of us learn, purchase, interact and explore the world around us. And, things are just getting started. Social, Social is a place to discuss social media with people from all walks of life. No experts allowed.

About the Author

Rob works as a digital marketing & public relations consultant to agencies, brands, and individuals. He has 20 years of marketing experience. He also currently serves in a volunteer capacity as director of pr/communications for TEDxDirigo. From 2005-2011, Rob served as director of social media & agency communications at The VIA Agency (Portland). Prior to VIA, Rob worked with several PR & advertising agencies in London & Boston. He is a graduate of The University of Vermont (UVM) and a Maine transplant (2002).

Follow Rob on Twitter at @bobbbyg

His real-life interests include art, travel, writing, design, psychology, the beach, & exercise (grudgingly at times).

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December 2013

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April 2013

March 2013

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