Talking tech since 2003

Facebook changed the world. Can you argue with that? It changed the way people communicate with each other. It changed the way people get informed about things they want and things they don’t want to know. It changed the way people share their lives with people they know and people they don’t know.

We share our passions, interests, knowledge, daily moments… we share everything with Facebook. As it turned out, we’ve been sharing a bit too much and we’ve been naively careless about that.

The sole mention of Facebook’s data scandal gives you the chills, right? We all feel that way. Cambridge Analytica harvested private information from over 50 million Facebook profiles without the explicit permission of their users. With such access to information, the firm was able to significantly affect the Presidential elections in the USA.

Facebook claimed this information was being collected for academic purposes, but it was a scam and a fraud no matter how you put it.

Even after that scandal, Facebook is still the most dominant social media platform. But something is changed. We’re more aware of the way our information is being used, and we do not want our data stolen. It’s time to do something practical with that awareness, don’t you think?

So here are few important tips on how to stop Facebook from stealing your personal data:

1. Block Facebook from Spying on Your Calls and Contacts

If you thought that Facebook solely had access to the data you publicly shared, you were in a delusion. The company has been collecting information from people’s calls and text messages. What kind of data? Let’s start with call lengths and text messages. To make things even more serious, they also collected and stored telephone numbers and contact names. Facebook took data analytics to a whole new level.

You don’t feel so comfortable with that? You may stop it.

  • Access Messenger, check the home menu and tap your profile photo in the top right corner.
  • Tap People, and then turn Synced Contacts off.

That’s it. The process is exactly the same for both Android and iOS.

2. Don’t Use Facebook to Log into Other Sites

When you want to sign in or log into a third-party site, the option to do that with your Facebook account saves you time and hassle. You’re there with a single click. But this is not the best thing to do if you’re worried about protecting your privacy.

Signing into several sites with a single log-in makes you even more vulnerable than you already are after all that sharing in the online world. This activity allows Facebook to track you across the web, so they can target you with ads even more “effectively.”

Plus, when you use your Facebook to log into a service, you practically expose your data to a third party. You give your permission for these apps and websites to access your Facebook account, so they will get more data they could use for their marketing campaign.

Always use different login information for different services.

3. Access Sites on Incognito Mode

So you’re there searching for infertility treatments on Google, and your Facebook is flooded with ads targeting where you’re most vulnerable the minute after that. Sometimes it’s useful to get targeted ads. But most of the time, we do not want them. We do not Facebook to know about all our struggles and all our inquiries.

You can prevent this from happening in a very easy way. Just use Incognito mode on Chrome and Safari to surf the web.

You can also use Facebook through the incognito mode. You’ll still have to log in, but the browser will dump any trucking cookies picked up during the session.

4. Delete Your Account

You’re so frustrated with this privacy scandal that you no longer want to use the platform? It’s okay. You can permanently delete your account whenever you’re ready for such step.

First, you might want to download a copy of your Facebook data. This data includes photos, chat history, facial recognition data, ads you clicked on, and more. Maybe you’ll want access to this data after you delete Facebook.

Just visit the Permanently Delete Account page and you’ll see the “Download your information” option. Once you do that, you can feel free to delete the account forever.

Don’t Take Your Privacy Lightly

This complex issue is getting more serious as we keep digging into it. We can still feel free to share what we want to share, but we have a big responsibility to protect the information that we don’t want Facebook to get.

The above-listed tips are a good start. Are you ready to start a new, safer phase on your Internet journey?  

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