Staying Private on Facebook
Q. How much information from my Facebook profile can random people find out about me with a regular Web search?
A. Facebook announced last fall that it was making limited member profiles visible on the Web for people who are not members of the social networking site. While the information revealed about you is limited to your name and profile photo, you can edit your privacy settings to limit what the general public — as well as Facebook members — can see.
To adjust your privacy preferences, log into your Facebook account and click the Privacy link in the top right corner of your home page. On the Privacy Overview page, you will find links to the aspects of your Facebook profile that you can control. For example, click the Search link to limit which Facebook users can find you in a search — everyone, people in your network or just the users you have tagged as friends.
You can also choose on this page whether to let people outside Facebook see your information. Make sure the box for your “public search listing” is not checked if you don’t want to be found by search engines. If you want to be found, you can specify here what people can see or do if they find you, like viewing your photo.
Aside from your search privacy settings, the Privacy Overview page has plenty of other options to adjust if you want to limit what people, Facebook applications or even external Web sites can display on your profile page. You can also choose to block or limit your profile to specific users.