Decrease your identity’s searchability |

Decrease your identity’s searchability

Last week’s Freaking Out Over Facebook question got me thinking about the drawbacks of having search engines display Facebook user profiles. Is there a way to reduce my public search listing visibility?


Searching For Invisibility

It’s true Facebook gets a heap of traffic from displaying user profiles in search engines. The good news is that not all of your profile is displayed on these search engines. Currently, the information displayed in the search profile is limited to: your profile picture, a list of friends, a link to add you as a friend, a link to send you a message and a list of up to approximately 20 fan pages that you are a member of.

For many folks, search engine display is a great way to let people know you are out there. Facebook generally ranks high in the search results, so if you want to be easy to find this is the way to do it. However, other people don’t seek that kind of exposure. To reduce one’s Facebook exposure is pretty simple. Visit the “Search Visibility” setting of your public search listing (the part that is visible to Google and other search engines). Here you can turn off your public search listing by simply unchecking the box nest to the phrase: “Create a public search listing for me and submit it for search engine indexing.”

Perhaps the most pathetic scams in recent years have come in the wake of tragedies like 9/11, Hurricane Katrina and the 2004 tsunami. When such catastrophes occur, scammers move in and take advantage of the fact that many people who are willing to help don’t know where to donate their money.

Never trust an email requesting charitable contributions before verifying the credibility of the organization. Never ever open attached images or files because they could be viruses. Additionally, never provide them with your personal information. If you want to help, you should donate directly to big-name organizations like the Red Cross or Amnesty International, which always organize direct disaster relief funds.

Got a Facebook dilemma? Or maybe you have a question for Ernie? Post it online in the comments below.

” Truckee-Tahoe resident Ernie Dambach is a self-admitted computer geek who enjoys helping others navigate their way through the digital world. His computer and networking company Tahoe Tech Group serves small and medium businesses, as well as the home computer user. Log onto, or call (530) 550-0999.

Support Local Journalism


Support Local Journalism

Readers around Lake Tahoe, Truckee, and beyond make the Sierra Sun's work possible. Your financial contribution supports our efforts to deliver quality, locally relevant journalism.

Now more than ever, your support is critical to help us keep our community informed about the evolving coronavirus pandemic and the impact it is having locally. Every contribution, however large or small, will make a difference.

Your donation will help us continue to cover COVID-19 and our other vital local news.

Start a dialogue, stay on topic and be civil.
If you don't follow the rules, your comment may be deleted.

User Legend: iconModerator iconTrusted User