We all want our kids to stay safe on Facebook. But do we even know how keep ourselves safe on Facebook?
As the sister of Facebook founder Mark Zuckerberg recently learned, keeping your Facebook updates private isn’t all that easy.
That’s because Facebook wants you to share publicly as much as possible. If you go private, it costs Facebook money.
So Facebook hides away its privacy settings, and few people bother adjusting them.
Facebook is Watching You
Has a Facebook ad ever freaked you out, because it somehow knows an intimate part of your life?
It has me. When I was planning to move house, Facebook started pushing relocation companies in its ads, even though I’d never mentioned the move in a Facebook update or private message.
How does it know all this stuff?
What Facebook Knows About You
- Your name, email address, gender and date of birth. You give these when you register.
- Your status updates
- Pictures you upload, including who gets tagged in those pictures
- Your comments on friends’ status updates
It also knows when you:
- Add a friend or check out someone’s profile
- Send a message or tag a location in a message
- Like a Facebook page or ad
- Click a link or ad
- Use games and apps
Facebook stores all this data to make it better at promoting products and services it believes you’ll be interested in.
What’s more, Facebook uses its plugins across the web to track pretty much everything you do online. That means anytime when you’re logged into Facebook (which is all the time, unless you log out), and you visit a website with a Facebook plugin (such as “Like this Page”), Facebook knows you visited.
Reclaim Your Privacy and Lock-down Your Facebook Data
Fortunately, it’s easy to take action to reclaim your privacy. Privacy-conscious developers have made it super-easy to win back your Facebook privacy with a few simple clicks of the mouse.
The top tool for helping you go private on Facebook is PrivacyFix. Available for both Firefox and Chrome web browsers, it guides you step-by-step through updating your privacy settings. You can download it free direct from the PrivacyFix website. As well as helping you update your Facebook privacy settings, PrivacyFix prevents Facebook from tracking your online activity.
To stop ALL advertisers from tracking your online privacy, you can install the Ghostery plugin. Ghostery lets you know who wants to track your online activity, and lets you decide which websites you’ll allow to track you, and which you’d prefer to block from tracking you.
Over To You
Are you happy for Facebook to track everything you do online? Or would you prefer the browsing you do in the privacy of your home to remain private?
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