Facebook: Improved Search Could Surface Embarrassing Old Posts

Consider this a good time to check on your privacy settings.

December 9, 2014, 9:47 AM
PHOTO: Thousands of people participated in a challenge on Facebook to share things they are thankful for.
Thousands of people participated in a challenge on Facebook to share things they are thankful for.
Getty Images

— -- Consider this a warning to anyone who has ever posted something cringe-worthy on Facebook: The social network is rolling out an improved search function that has the potential to unearth your most embarrassing posts.

"With a quick search, you can get back to a fun video from your graduation, a news article you've been meaning to read, or photos from your friend’s wedding last summer," Tom Stocky, Facebook's vice president of search, said in a blog post.

The new changes are expected to be implemented this week in the United States for iOS and desktop.

While the update is exciting it also has the ability to quickly bring up your entire history on the social network, granted your privacy settings are set to share with friends or the entire public.

For the early adopters of Facebook, that could mean up to a decade's worth of posts.

Before you get trigger happy with the delete button, there are a few things you can do to make sure your privacy settings are exactly where you want them to be.

It's possible to limit how far back other users can explore your timeline. Go to settings, then privacy and choose "limit old posts." This will change anything that was public or shared with friends of friends to "friends only."

However, it's important to note that if a friend is tagged in a post, their friends will likely be able to still see it too.

Also under the privacy settings tab, users are able to click "use activity log" and review everything they have been tagged in and are able to change who it is shared with.

The timeline on the right side of the page can be used for quickly traveling back in time to adjust the settings on even the oldest posts in which a you've been tagged.

Finally, it's a great time to go through Facebook's three step privacy check-up to ensure your settings are as open or iron clad as you want them to be.

Go to settings and then choose "Privacy Checkup," where you'll be guided by a friendly blue dinosaur through three quick steps to make sure you're sharing with the right people.

Twitter unveiled a similar feature last month that allows users to search every public tweet ever sent.

ABC News Live

ABC News Live

24/7 coverage of breaking news and live events