Do. Not. Panic. Sadly, the AOL–style panic-attacks are still alive and well; they just focus on Facebook now, since even your grandma has abandoned AOL. BUT, there is still plenty of unfounded fear to go around — so if you haven’t bothered to check the viral status message that is going around with something like http://LMGTFY.com/ yet, here is the non-hoaxy low-down:
Only content that is publicly available to view is available in Facebook’s Search Graph; in other words, if a user has set their settings to be private, than their information will not show up and their content will not be indexed in the internal search (read more on making your Facebook settings private in How to Block Searches Of Your Facebook Profile).
If you take the recommended steps, all you really do is remove your friend’s updates, Likes and Comments from YOUR view. You are not protecting yourself, or them. You simply won’t see their updates when you use Facebook. Why would you do that? Why remove your friends’ updates from YOUR view? Isn’t that why you are friends in the first place, so you can see what they are up to? There are 3 recommendations I make to better protect your information, and they will quickly get progressively more draconian. …
Contrary to what’s claimed, Graph Search won’t make any of your Facebook content or other activities visible to strangers unless they’re already visible to the general public per your own privacy settings. It simply gives other members another way to find your stuff. For example, if your current privacy settings only allow friends to view photos and status updates, Graph Search won’t change that — only friends will be able to see your content in search results. However, if your current settings allow your content to be viewed by everyone, then everyone, friends and non-friends alike, will be able to see it in Graph Search results. That’s pretty straightforward.
I repeat: Do. Not. Panic.