December 07, 2023   7:58pm

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You don’t want strangers to get your private information via Facebook or Google. Here’s how to stop that… You may have noticed the last time you logged into Facebook that it alerted you to modify your privacy settings. DO NOT IGNORE THIS!

If you don’t want your profile open to the public, meaning that everyone on Google or Facebook has complete access, go through the necessary steps to ensure your profile is kept private.

If you followed the page Facebook directed you to, you should see two options to check beside all your information: “Everyone” and “Old Settings.” To ensure that your privacy settings are as they were before, go through the list and check off “Old Settings.” If you ignored this or did it improperly the first time, simply go to “Settings” and then “Privacy” to adjust.

So why the new rules? According to the Wall Street Journal article, “How Facebook is Making Friending Obsolete,” Facebook recently made a deal to “distribute certain real-time data to Google and Bing.” Why? Money, of course. Though the article points out, almost half of Facebook users choose to keep their information private (including basic information being displayed on search engines). Meaning despite the new deal, you can choose to opt out, and we suggest you do.

Facebook is even addressing concerns on their privacy settings pages where this message can now be seen, “There have been misleading rumors recently about Facebook indexing all your information on Google. This is not true. Facebook created public search listings in 2007 to enable people to search for your name and see a link to your Facebook profile. They will still only see a basic set of information.” Unless, of course, you opt out by going to “Search” in your privacy settings and unchecking the Allow box next to “Public Search Results.” If this boxis checked, anyone searching your name on Google will have access to your basic profile.

Then again if you don’t have any employers, relatives, ex lovers, or stalkers to worry about, you can always choose to share everything with the world. “Facebook Chief Executive Mark Zuckerberg led by example, opening up his previously closed profile, including goofy photos of himself curled up with a teddy bear,” the WSJ article said.

What are most people doing? According to the same article, more than half of Facebook users have rejected the defaults to allow everyone to see their profile. But beware, if your friend is in this minority and you interact with them on their wall, photos, etc., your comments will be available for all the world to see, and there’s not much you can do about it.

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