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How To Lock Down Your Facebook Privacy Now That Old Posts Are Searchable

Facebook logo If you have used Facebook for several years, then you have a lot of posts in your timeline. A lot. With the new Facebook Search feature, those old posts are searchable. And many of those old posts probably have weak privacy settings: the "Public" or anyone can search and view them. You probably don't want those old posts and photos of you high or drinking (to excess) to be searchable. It could cost you a job, result in a rejected college application, or affect your credit-worthiness.

What to do? You could spend the next week 24/7 non-stop deleting all of your old posts and/or changing the privacy setting on each old post to "Friends Only." A faster method to protect your privacy is to use Facebook's "Limit Past Posts" privacy setting. I'll bt you didn't know that this security setting exists, since Facebook makes its interface difficult to find and use for security settings.

Here is how to find and use the "Limit Past Posts" security setting:

  1. Sign into Facebook and click on the Security Shortcut icon in the upper right corner. That's the thingy with the lock icon.
  2. A drop-down menu will appear. Select "See More Settings"
  3. On the next page, select the "Limit Past Posts" link
  4. The page will expand to reveal two links. Select the "Learn about changing old posts" if you want to learn more about this security feature. Otherwise, select the the "Limit Old Posts" button.
  5. Facebook will try to dissuade you from making this security change by, a) asking if you are sure you want to proceed, and b) telling you that this change cannot be undone. Yes, you are sure. Proceed and select the "Confirm" button.
  6. On the next screen, select the "Close" button and you are done.

If these instructions aren't clear, see the Gizmodo article with screen images.

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