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No more hiding from public search in Facebook

Facebook has again made changes with new privacy settings, which will start rolling out to accounts over the next few weeks.

One of the main changes is the Public Search option previously is now being removed. Meaning all those that had this option of not being found in the public search are now unable to hide. It also means that as this is a Public Search, ANYONE, including those people who are not on Facebook may be in a position to view this.

For Officer Safety purposes I would suggest to make a slight alteration to your name, so as not to become obvious in a search result, but still be known to your friends & family, as well as not break with the Facebook terms of service (SRR). I would also suggest that if you do not want the public to view a personal photo of you.. then change your profile picture to an avatar.

The change to public search does not change who can view your Profile. If you already have your privacy settings, set to friends this will not change. For children’s accounts the public search option will remain in inactive for them until they attain the age of 18years, where it will then go public automatically.

Regarding your profile picture and cover photo. The cover photo is the large picture that spreads across your Timeline.. this is public view by default and cannot be changed. So be sure not to be placing any personal photos, especially of your family in this frame.

The Profile picture is the smaller picture which identifies you on Facebook. Every time you post on facebook this picture represents you, so be sure to keep this credible and not with anything that would be seen as offensive or detrimental to your profile.

The profile picture is also public view.. however you can click into the photo and change the view so only your friends can see the larger view of the picture…. meaning that although the general public can see the profile pic, when you change the audience icon to friends, this disallows the public to view the larger version of the profile pic.

Click on your Profile picture – it will open to a larger view of the picture – under your name click on the audience icon, (which is likely to be a World globe). .. this will open a drop down box – change this to friends.

Just to re-iterate this Does Not remove your profile pic from the public search view, it only prevents the public from viewing the larger version of your picture AND any comments or likes that accompany it.

Janita Docherty founder and Director of CyberActive Services is a trained Crime Prevention Executive with more than 18 years experience in the field of law and criminal investigation. Janita specialises in Facebook and Internet Safety instruction and is recognised for her work with law enforcement Units dedicated in the fields of E-Crime, Sex Crime, State Intelligence and Tactical Intelligence areas. Janita has an intricate knowledge on the workings of Facebook from a criminal intelligence perspective and is a leader in her field regarding Facebook training to Police and specialist law enforcement departments both in Australia and the United States. Janita has completed training with the Internet Crime Against Children (ICAC) Taskforce, and holds a number of Certifications, including a Diploma in Frontline Management, a full qualification in Crime Prevention Through Environmental Design (CPTED), is a Youth Mental Health First Aider and has been presented with a National Service Medal. She is held in high regard within social media and law enforcement domains, for her enthusiasm to educate professionals, regarding online safety and digital reputation management.