Facebook Live privacy settings you should be aware of

Posted at 10:34 PM, Feb 20, 2017
and last updated 2017-02-21 00:34:12-05

Facebook is changing the way we connect with people, how we socialize, and how we see events unfold in real-time.

Facebook Live is quickly becoming one of the social network's most popular features, but there's a hidden danger all users should know about. 

A Facebook Live event from a butterfly garden - it may seem innocent enough, but the woman in the video probably has no idea we can watch her and the young girl she's with. 

"We're leaving digital footprints all over the place," explains Ken Colburn from Data Doctors in Tempe. 

And these aren't footprints anymore -- in some cases, they're more like entire walkways, leading right to our most private information. 

"I think people take it for granted these days...but I think it's pretty important to understand you are probably giving up information you may not want to give up."

On Facebook, there's an actual map that shows all the "live" events near you, marking them with a blue dot. It doesn't show an exact location, but Colburn says figuring out where you are is still pretty easy. 

"If you look at one set of tracks, it's not a big deal. But it's really easy to cross reference those tracks with other things."

A quick internet search can uncover your address, your job, and even your kids' names.

We found several people across the Valley on Facebook Live Monday -- and we weren't Facebook friends with any of them! Their feeds were open to the public. We tried contacting them to give them a heads up; our calls went unanswered all as more and more people clicked on to watch. 

So what can you do? Colburn says the solution is simple: On the Facebook mobile app, go to "Nearby Friends' on the menu sidebar and make sure it's turned off. 

Also, in your general settings, it's probably a good idea to see what apps you're allowing to use your location.