You’ve seen it all over the news, how the political consulting company Cambridge Analytica collected the data of 50 million Facebook users who had installed a quiz app, but it was one that harvested friends’ personal information without their permission. They then sold this information, and it has been used to try to sway the last US election as well as the vote on Brexit.
Facebook has also just released a new feature – facial recognition to identify you in any photo that anyone has taken, anywhere, at anytime. That’s a jump from snooping on online activities, to what you do in the ‘real world’!
You shouldn’t have to be always on guard to protect your privacy. Companies should make reasonable attempts to protect your personal information. But Facebook has been incredibly lax – they let apps collect, store, share and even sell users’ private information, often without their consent. Plus, much of your public Facebook profile is visible to anyone on the web.
Should you stop using Facebook? If you want to fully protect your privacy, then the answer is yes. But what if all your friends and family are using it?
There are many things you can do and configure to improve your privacy while you continue to use Facebook.
Four steps to protect your privacy on Facebook
There are several steps you can take that will protect your private information from being accessed without your permission. We recommend that you spend a little time each day working through these steps:
- Stop apps and third party websites from harvesting your Facebook profile information.
- Stop advertisers from using your private information.
- Protect both your own and your friends’ data.
- Go through your Facebook Activity Log to see what others can see about you, including advertisers and data harvesting apps.
When you install apps, ‘like’ a web page, or use Facebook to log into websites, you let them harvest your Facebook profile information. Take control of your online privacy and change these Facebook settings today.
Advertisers can use any action you take within Facebook or when using a Facebook app to target you with ads. See what Facebook knows about you right now, and stop advertisers from accessing this information.