Everyone is on social media and everyone needs to be. Whether you are on a job search, networking with others in your industry or region, or trying to become more influential in your field, no one can afford to be invisible.

But since we are also using social media as a way to stay connected in a more personal way, we often need to rethink how we are using these platforms–what information we are putting out there and who can access it.

Facebook Graph Search is being rolled out to more of us every day which means we are more searchable than ever before and by more people with whom we have no real-life connection. Here are some things to think about regarding Facebook and privacy:

Past Posts

Limiting the audience of your past posts is a good way to get a clean start with Facebook if you are starting a job search or establishing your personal brand. You can limit the audience for all of your past posts in one click in your Privacy Settings, but keep in mind that if you want to change them again, you will have to do them one at a time.

Future Posts

If you are using Facebook for marketing as well as personal reasons, use Custom privacy settings as your default. If you want a particular post to be more public, you can change it after posting without having to set up your Custom list again every time you post a blog or a baby picture.

Photos

We’ve all seen photos on Facebook that make us wince. Remember that other people can tag you in their photos but you have to give them permission. Be as thoughtful with others’ photos as you are with your own.

Likes

Facebook recently started asking me more about what I like–books, movies, TV shows. But there may be things we like that we don’t really want Facebook Graph Search to know we like. Don’t answer those questions from Facebook unless you have time to think them through, unless you’ve never picked up a book and regretted it later.

It’s a good idea to check your Facebook Privacy settings often. When Facebook adds a feature, they often opt everyone in without making an announcement. Privacy and Facebook don’t go together automatically, but social media can be a great tool in our personal and professional lives. We always–always–have to think about the impression we are making and to whom we are making it. 

Wendy Stackhouse, Consultant for Artisan Creative