Whether you are aware of it or not, Facebook and other companies are tracking your activities online 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. Of course there are other ways to track your movements online without having to rely on you using apps or Facebook logins ie: cookies and ip addresses.
To reduce interest based targeting on Facebook, you’ll need to go to your Ad Settings (click here or 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.
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 click here 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:
2. Ad-blocking browser extensions.
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 first place!