For a widely used social network such as Facebook, it’s very easy to become the object of an online stalking session. The platform actually has a ton of information about you already and while your account can be amply safeguarded by being vigilant about your security settings, there still are Facebook functions that may be unknown even to the most attentive user. One such function is called, “Who can look up my timeline by name?” which is on its way out.
The removal of the setting – which is still currently being used by a “small percentage of people” – was announced last year, but the earlier change only affected those who didn’t have the function activated at all. According to the recent update, those who have it enabled will see a reminder about its complete removal in the next few weeks, and it looks something like this:
The setting was created during a time when Facebook was a mere directory of people’s profiles. Now that it’s way easier to stalk and troll people by searching for them through Graph Search, there’s a need for a more pro-active way to protect your Facebook privacy – instead of using “Who can look up my timeline by name?” to stop people from having the ability to look you up, users can control who has access to your Timeline by limiting what your audience can see under the Privacy Settings and Tools tab. Facebook says the no-longer-needed setting is also being removed because users had difficulty finding people they already knew. Basically, it’s yet another signal that you cannot avoid the powers of Graph Search, especially not with one fell swoop asking to make your Timeline unsearchable – now, you more than ever need to review what you’re showing and with who. For instance, maybe everything on your profile is private except your check-ins and location are public; that means if someone searched for “People in Austin,” you could come up even though you thought your account was locked down.
Additionally, if you have posts that are on public view, you will also get sent a notification reminding you that your posts can also be seen by people you don’t know and how you can change the audience for each post (If your post has an icon of a globe next to it, it means it’s public. You can change it by clicking on the icon and choosing one of the other remaining options. Friends only is often the safest choice.)