facebook privacy

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The buzz word online is now privacy or to put it another way, security. The US government’s case with Apple just highlights how important people are taking online and digital security and privacy these days. The average Facebook user spends a lot of time on Facebook and is not too bothered about Facebook privacy. And Facebook appreciates that. They appreciate it so much that tracking you outside Facebook has become rather easy for them.

facebook privacy

Selling ads is the major reason Facebook wants to know what you are up to when you leave the social network for other websites. But just like we discussed how to make you Facebook page less annoying, you can also tweak your Facebook privacy settings. This would make it difficult for Facebook, third party apps and other websites from tracking you through your Facebook habits.

In short, these are tips on how to protect your Facebook privacy while you are on Facebook. If you like, you can call this piece an addendum on how to make your Facebook less annoying.

Third Party Apps
Most people don’t know the apps they use on Facebook can also have access to their details. So if you logged into a game like candy crush with your Facebook account, know that the folks at candy crush can easily compromise your Facebook privacy. Fortunately, getting out of that is easy.

On the Facebook App or Web version, go to ‘Settings‘ and click on ‘Apps.’ Then click on the ‘Remove’ icon next to any app you don’t need. Clicking ‘Edit’, instead of ‘Remove,’ would give you the option of dictating what info the app has of you and what it can do on your behalf. I would definitely stop the app from posting on my behalf if I chose the ‘Edit’ option.

Use ‘Likes’ Wisely
Any Facebook user with enough friends must have seen ads based on what their friends ‘liked’. That is one way ads campaign on Facebook become viral: by friends ‘liking’ stuff. You don’t have to be part of that because that is another sure way of having your Facebook privacy open to third parties.

Again, head over to ‘Settings’ on Facebook and click ‘Ads.’ Then select the ‘Ads with my social actions’ section. On the drop down list at the bottom, just alter it to ‘No one.‘ You are now free from these sorts of ads.

Stay hidden from search engines
Have you ever tried searching for your name on say, Google? You would be surprised that an ordinary Joe with a Facebook account would see his Facebook profile at the top of the Google search results. Other search engines too have access to your profile.

To make your profile invincible to search engines, go to the ‘Settings‘ page and choose ‘Privacy.’ Beside the ‘Do you want search engines outside of Facebook to link to your profile?’ Click ‘Edit.‘ These may take a few days before this change is reflected on search engines though. But be rest assured, your profile would disappear from Facebook after a few days.

facebook privacyFacebook Tracking
It is fairly common knowledge that Facebook tracks your activities on other websites. The aim is simple, to send targeted ads to your Facebook timeline.

There are 3 ways to stop this:

1. Through the same Ads page in Settings, change Ads based on my use of websites and apps to your desire. These does not stop ads from your timeline though. What happens is that you get to see less of the targeted ads that are based on websites you visited outside Facebook.

2. For a more thorough elimination of these problem, go to Digital Advertising Alliance. Look for and click Exercise your choice under the ‘For Consumers‘ section to take postive action on your Facebook privacy. Using these option can be applied to other websites too.

3. If your are not averse to installing extensions on your system, you can use this plugin to protect your online privacy. Learn how to use the plugin here.

Don’t put this off to another day. You now have the tools to make sure your Facebook privacy is really private.


photo credits: kinja-img.com; mshcdn.com