Photos, status updates and posts are now fully searchable by everyone on the social network.
Facebook argues that the way young people use the web has changed dramatically and that teenagers are experts at controlling who they share things with. But concerns amongst the adult population are widespread.
A report by the Pew Internet and the American Life Project found that 91% of the 12-to-17-year-olds it surveyed post photos of themselves, 91% are happy posting their real name, 60% their relationship status, 82% their birthday, 71% the town where they live and the school they attend, 53% their email address and 20% their mobile number. Figures like these help create fears that younger people are not concerned about the information they're sharing online.
But what do teenagers themselves think? Three tell us their feelings about sharing information online and what they make of Facebook's new privacy settings.
I look at my settings quite a lot and I clicked on privacy and I found it. But I'll definitely keep posts to just my friends because if I set it to friends of friends then it could be thousands of people I don't know seeing them. I don't want people who're much older seeing my stuff. If I was on holiday and posted a picture of my family - I don't want everyone seeing that.
Occasionally someone has answered a post in an anti-social way but I normally answer back in a non-aggressive, joky way and they normally stop immediately. Sometimes I just leave it and sometimes friends answer for me and back me up. I know people who have had problems with friends of friends saying mean things.
All the stuff I put up on Facebook goes to people who know me therefore they understand what I'm talking about. People who don't know me could misunderstand it and send me messages like "What are you on about?" I don't want that and it's often friends of friends who say that stuff, not friends. I use Facebook to watch funny videos, but also for chatting and sharing in-jokes which is part of the reason I don't want everyone on the internet seeing it.
I love Facebook because you can talk with friends and connect with people I haven't seen for a long time. It's great to share stuff. The bad thing is some people misuse it. I will always be careful about the images I put on there. We had someone talk to us and they told us a story about a boy who put up an inappropriate picture on Facebook and years later someone showed him the picture and he was very embarrassed.
Facebook's becoming more and more prominent in today's society so you need Facebook now - it's not a plus, you actually need it. I might stop using it if I get particularly bad comments, and I suppose if I got really serious bullying then I would stop it and not use it at all.
If I found out Facebook was sharing lots of stuff about me I would be really careful about my privacy settings but I don't think I'd stop using it.
I had no idea about this [change] but I have my sharing settings set to friends, however it would have been nice to have been told. I think it’s a huge problem and I can’t believe Facebook would allow this.
Many people might not realise their posts are being shared for the world to see, and some young people might not realise the dangers of the internet. In my opinion Facebook need to do more to safeguard and protect their younger users.
I’ll definitely just keep my posts to my friends. I think it’s important to do this, for our own privacy and protection, otherwise anyone in the world would be able to view what you are saying, and if you are disclosing personal information that could put you at risk.
I’ve never had any problems due to something I have posted. I know of a few girls in my school who were involved in sexting on Facebook messages and have had their photos spread around, obviously you should never share what you wouldn’t show your nan! But it was beyond awful for them and their families, and I can’t imagine how horrible it must have been for them.
I think Facebook is a good social platform to be able to interact with friends. However I think more measures need to be put in place to safeguard young people, and I think they need to publish more advice for young people, and run internet awareness campaigns.
I don’t think I will stop using it in the near future. I’m sure as time progresses more websites and technology will be created, and eventually it will be overtaken just like MySpace and Bebo were.
I knew about the setting before now and I'll keep it to just friends as it is safer and I don't want people who I don't know being able to see my posts. It could be dangerous as people who you don't know could be reading your posts, and they could be someone who you don't want to get involved with. I know someone who posted the details of a party on Facebook, and shared it with friends of friends, lots of people turned up who they didn't know.
I think Facebook is good if you use it in the right way, with the correct safety and privacy settings. It allows you to communicate with friends all over the world, as well as seeing what they are up to and video calling them. I don't think I will stop using it as it is an important form of contact between my friends and I go on it almost every day - checking my newsfeed has almost become part of my daily routine!
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