How to secure your data on Facebook

The scandal about Facebook and their misuse of personal data of about 50 million Americans means a breach of trust between Facebook and the people who share their data with it. Mark Zuckerberg finally broke his silence yesterday, saying that he is sorry for what happened and that he does not oppose stricter regulations.

While it is becoming popular to delete Facebook accounts (#DeleteFacebook), you might want to take the following advise on how to secure your data on Facebook into account:

(There are in fact settings to control who knows what about you, but these are not easy to find and it will take some time. )

Apps: Over the years, you have probably given various apps the permission to get all your data from Facebook. In doing so, you grant developers deep insights into your profile. So time to clean out who you want to creep on your Facebook account.

Ads: Turn off Ads based on my use of websites and apps, because they will haunt you forever. Also say no to Ads on apps and websites off the Facebook companies. And if you want to know what Facebook thinks you are interested in, click on Your Interests. You can clear out any that bother you by clicking the X in the upper-righthand corner.

Remember that none of this will in any way change the number of ads you see on Facebook or around the web. For that, you’ll need an ad blocker.

Friends: Quite possibly, you do not have 1,000 friends. But Facebook says you do, right? So who are all these people? Why are they liking your picture with your new pair of trainers? Or why aren’t they?

To get a handle on who can see which of your posts, head to Settings then Privacy. Start with Who can see my posts, then click on Who can see my future posts to manage your defaults. You’ve got options! You can go full-on public and share with the world, or limit your circle by geography, employers, schools, groups, you name it. Whatever you pick will be your default from here on out. Whatever you pick, immediately go to Limit the audience for posts you’ve shared with friends of friends or public? to make that choice retroactive

Here are some further ways to secure your Facebook account. Should you decide to pull the plug altogether, remember that Facebook owns Instagram too!

Laura Kabelka
[email protected]

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