Just When You Thought Facebook Couldn’t Get Any Scarier . . .

Just when you thought Facebook couldn’t get any scarier, they rolled out “graph search,” a more detailed way of searching for people, photos, and anything else posted on Facebook.

According to How to Avoid Digital Life Doom with Facebook Graph Search, an article by Tom Mason on a Trend Micro blog (Trend Micro is the virus protection I use), this new graph search is so powerful that anyone, even if they are not your FB friend or a friend of a friend, can find out enough information about you to steal your identity — name, date of birth, where you live, even if you’re at home at a particular moment. People can find out what apps you are using. They (or you) can search for people by city, age, gender, availability, and build a potential dating pool.

This doesn’t worry me because I want people to find me. Not me personally where I live, but me online. I want them to know I am an author, my books are published by Second Wind Publishing, and I have a blog. (Well, several blogs, to be honest.) I’ve been careful about what information I post online. I use a pseudonymous birthday, don’t post my address, leave my hometown ambiguous, remove tags from any photo I am tagged in, hide the pages I’ve “liked”, but other than that, my life is an open book. Or should I say an open blog? I mostly use this blog as a personal journal, posting my thoughts and feelings, the ups and downs of my life’s journey, even my hopes (or lack thereof) for the future.

I don’t really worry about “big brother” watching me. Anyone who did surveillance of any kind on me would be bored to tears after a few days. (That’s depressing, actually. Shouldn’t a woman sliding down the banister of middle age have at least some secrets she doesn’t want anyone to know? Maybe that should be a goal for my remaining decades — learn how to lead a mysterious life, full of intrigue with secrets that need to be protected at all costs.)

Be sure to check out Tom’s article if you want to know to protect yourself from “graph search” abuse.


Pat Bertram is the author of the suspense novels Light Bringer, More Deaths Than One, A Spark of Heavenly Fire, and Daughter Am I. Bertram is also the author of Grief: The Great Yearning, “an exquisite book, wrenching to read, and at the same time full of profound truths.” Follow Pat on Google+. Like Pat on Facebook.