Check your Facebook settings to make sure your posts aren’t searchable

Facebook Search. Image courtesy of Gelner Tivadar/Shutterstock.

Facebook Search. Image courtesy of Gelner Tivadar/Shutterstock.

Back in December last year, Facebook introduced keyword searching on your or your friends’ past posts.

So if you wanted to quickly find your wedding photo album, or a recipe your friend posted for chocolate chip cookies, then there was no more trawling through months and years of posts to find it.

You could also see what your Facebook friends were saying about a particular topic or news item, much like you can on Twitter.

Now, Facebook’s gone one step further in allowing you to search anyone’s public posts – all 2 TRILLION of them. (That’s 2 followed by 12 zeros.)

From Facebook’s announcement blog post:

When something happens in the world, people often turn to Facebook to see how their friends and family are reacting. Today, we’re updating Facebook Search so that in addition to friends and family, you can find out what the world is saying about topics that matter to you.

I don’t really want anyone to be able to search on my posts so I double checked my privacy settings to make sure.

Despite all my photos, posts, likes and more being set to be seen by “Friends” only, my post of this cat video from 2012 was oddly public.

So, even if you think your privacy is locked down, it’s worth reviewing it.

How to check how others view you on Facebook

  1. Go to your profile and click the three dots on the bottom right of your cover photo.
  2. Click View As…. This will then display your profile as seen by anyone who isn’t your friend.

If you see something you don’t want to be publicly searchable then you’ll need to limit the audience of your old posts, and also make sure all future posts are viewable by Friends only.

How to limit the audience of past Facebook posts

  1. Click the down arrow at the top right of any Facebook page and choose Settings
  2. Select Privacy from the menu on the left hand side
  3. Under Who can see my stuff?, click Limit the audience for posts you’ve shared with friends of friends or Public?.
  4. Click Limit Old Posts

How to lock down the privacy of your future Facebook posts

  1. Click the down arrow at the top right of any Facebook page and choose Settings
  2. Select Privacy from the menu on the left hand side
  3. Under Who can see my stuff?, click Who can see your future posts?.
  4. Here you can choose to limit the posts to Friends only, or a custom lists of people you choose.

The above tips actually make up part of our 5 tips to make your Facebook account safer, so it’s worth checking out that article to make sure you’re doing all five.

You can also use the Facebook Privacy Dinosaur to check your privacy settings on Facebook.

Facebook Search is available in the US, on iPhone, Android and desktop versions of Facebook.

Image of Facebook Search courtesy of
Gelner Tivadar / Shutterstock.com.