Whether you know it or not, many companies are likely tracking you across the web both on and off Facebook. How can they do that? Simple: when you download and use their apps on Facebook, you’re granting them many more rights and permissions than you might know. Even when you sign into a website using your Facebook login, you could be giving that company a peek into your Facebook profile.
To reduce interest based targeting on Facebook, you’ll need to go to your Ad Settings (click the down arrow in top right corner, then click ‘Settings’ and finally, click ‘Ads’ in the left column. Simply, set the first two settings to ‘No’ and then select ‘No One’ to prohibit ads paired with your social actions.
It’s a good idea to browse through the rest of the Ad Settings configuration screen and edit anything appropriately. For a more detailed explanation of these and other settings, be sure to check out this guide.
Now, for the more interesting part: finding out what sites/apps have access to your info. First, click on the lock icon in the upper right of your page and look for the Privacy Checkup tool featuring an image of a blue dinosaur (you may have to click the “more settings” link. From there, go to the “Apps” section. You can also follow this link to be taken directly there. Now you will see the entire list of apps with your info. Here, you can edit the permissions or remove any applications. You can also disable the application platform entirely for added privacy. To disable the platform, click on the ‘edit’ link in the ‘Apps, Websites and Plugins’ section.
While Facebook is free, it does come with a cost…your personal information. They are primarily an advertising platform, and you are the product. For further privacy protection consider using the following:
1. A VPN – Virtual Private Network (Sponsored Link)
2. Ad-blocking browser extensions – Ad Block Plus is a popular one.
3. A dedicated browser just to use on Facebook. For example, if you normally use Chrome, then download Firefox to use just for Facebook.
4. Visit the Digital Advertising Alliance and browse their resources for consumers and choose to opt out of interest-based advertising.
Always remember that anything you do online is never truly private, so always be careful what you post and put online in the firs place!
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