Rights & Money

How to Protect Your Facebook Data

If you’re concerned about your online privacy, read this

 

By Katrina Caruso

 

By now, you’ve probably heard about Cambridge Analytica’s Facebook privacy mess. The data-mining firm misused the data of 50 million Facebook users. As a result, many of those users are concerned about their online security and the protection of their personal information.

Whenever you like someone’s status, take a quiz or play Words with Friends through Facebook, or create a photo album, you give Facebook some insight into your likes, dislikes, and personal information.

While some have called for people to delete their Facebook profiles, that’s not a desirable option for everyone: some people rely on social media for business or to stay in touch with family and old friends. If you want to boost your online privacy protection, there are a few things you can do.

Clean Up Your Friend List
It’s always a good idea to go through your Friend list every so often to remove those people who don’t need access to your social media.

Limit/Lock Your Details
Facebook doesn’t need to know your job, your hometown, your family members, or your age. Some people like to have those details visible, but you should know that that information can be used by advertisers. If you don’t want to get rid of all your details, you can lock them from public view, so that people who aren’t on your Friend list won’t have access to that info. You can see your public profile by going to “Settings” > “Timeline and Tagging” > “Review” > “Review what other people see on your timeline,” and clicking “View As.”

Review/Block Apps’ Access
In 2015, Facebook stopped allowing third-party apps to gain access to users’ information, but it’s still a good idea to do an app clean sweep for privacy. To do this, go to your “Settings” > “Apps.” You’ll see a list of all the apps that use your data, and what kind of information they can access. You can remove an app or edit what that company can see. You can also block access from the apps your friends use. Go to “Apps Others Use” to edit that.
Disallow API Sharing

It might seem convenient to use your Facebook login for other websites, but that means that Facebook is keeping tabs on your Web use outside of its website. To disable this, go to “Settings” > “Apps” > “Apps, Website and Plugins,” and click on the “Edit button.

Delete the App
It’s better to use the online browser to access Facebook, even on mobile devices, because that will minimize the amount of data that the app can obtain. You can, however, also edit the way the app interacts with you through your phone’s own settings.

Photo: iStock/morozena.