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Use Facebook? One step can prevent things from coming back to haunt you

Divorce attorneys are having a field day with evidence that people are routinely posting on Facebook. Employers check a prospective employee’s social media account to get a better idea of what makes a person tick. Whether it’s a casual date or business partner, a little Facebook snooping can go a long way.

Fortunately, you can see exactly what you have posted online and remove it. But there’s also a little-known trick that lets you download your entire Facebook history so you can go through each posting, message, chat conversation and more one-by-one. Let’s start, though, with what shows up on your timeline.


If you’d like to go back and edit what shows up on your timeline, you can do that by reviewing your Facebook activity log.

To do this, sign in to your Facebook account. Then click the down arrow in the upper-right corner and select "Activity Log." You can also access your Activity Log by clicking on the "View Activity Log" button found on the right side of the cover photo area of your Facebook page.

Depending on how active you are on Facebook, it could have thousands of entries to scroll through. Luckily, Facebook has a few tools to make things easier to find what you’re looking for.

Using filters to find and edit posts faster
In the left-hand column, you'll see a list of filters. These show you just the posts in your Timeline about those particular topics. For example, if you only want to look at things you've posted in the past, select "Your Posts." You can also just look at "Photos," things you've "Liked" and "Comments" you've made on posts, photos and videos.

Click the "More" link to see more filters like "Videos," "Groups," "Events," etc. You can then review these sections and click on the little pencil icon to hide them from your timeline.

Clearing your Facebook search history
Ready for something scary? Everything and everybody you've ever searched for on Facebook is visible to anyone who has access to your account.

To see your search history, look in the left column of the Activity Log and click "More," then click "Search" near the bottom of the list. You can delete individual entries by clicking the "circle with a slash" icon and selecting "Delete." You can also click "Clear Searches" at the top to wipe everything at once. Click here for step-by-step instructions with screenshots.

Don’t forget those Facebook apps
At the very bottom of the list of filters, you can also click on “All Apps” to see what apps you've installed and what posts they've made on your Timeline.

Luckily, you can change the settings on who can see the posts that the apps make. When you click on each one, a box will appear at the top of your screen. Click the arrow that says, "This app can post on your behalf to," then select one of the options on the drop down list, which includes: "Public," "Friends of Friends," "Friends," "Only Me" and "Custom."

Next page: Don't let the past haunt you
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