Since the inception of Facebook, we have seen it develop and evolve rapidly. From its early days as a social network to share posts and photos with friends and colleagues, it has now become a massive global advertising network.
Did you know Facebook has approximately 2.41 billion monthly active users? As the biggest worldwide social network, imagine the amount of data Facebook is collects within a day, or even within just an hour.
Facebook has a gigantic amount of data which enables it to act as a global data-sharing platform between third parties. Did you know that Facebook encountered a significant data breach recently while it was trying to prove to the US government, that it can manage data security and protect the privacy of people?
Facebook not only keeps basic details about people, but it also collects substantial amounts of information via advertisements and user preferences; for example: where you went last weekend, who you were with, or what you’re planning to buy, and other private information.
At one time, third parties associated with Facebook started misusing the data it received from the platform; which led Facebook to tighten data regulation and policies regarding data sharing and how third parties can use this data.
But if you feel like Facebook is invading your privacy or if you’re concerned about your data security then read these 5 tips to know how you can reduce the amount of data Facebook can collect about you.
1. Opt-Out of Ad Preferences
Facebook displays ads based on your activities; some ads are displayed both within Facebook and others outside of Facebook.
To limit the amount of data it can collect about you, go to “Your Ad Preferences” and click on “Ad Settings”. Then, under “Ads based on data from partners” you can determine if you want to see ads of companies partnered with Facebook.
The next step is to block the setting which shows you ads outside of Facebook based on your activities on Facebook. This setting will limit the number of ads you see outside of Facebook because of its data sharing policy with third parties.
Even after performing these steps, Facebook may still show you ads based on the preferences of other people of your gender, age, and location.
2. Disconnect Third-Party Apps
Data sharing is one of the common practices performed by Facebook. So, if you want to limit it, then you should disconnect Facebook Login features on third-party apps.
By doing this, you will disallow the third-party apps to view your Facebook activities which will result in better privacy or data security for you.
3. Use External Tools
To restrict this, you need to use external tools built for specific browsers.
For example, Firefox offers a “Facebook Container” extension which stops Facebook from tracking your activities on third-party websites, unless you use Facebook’s sharing feature.
4. Facial Recognition
Facial recognition may seem like a useful feature as it allows Facebook to locate you in pictures you upload; but this feature may affect your privacy. If that makes you uncomfortable then switch this feature off for you by accessing “Control Facial Recognition” under Facebook’s “Privacy Shortcuts“.
5. IP Address Privacy
You can turn your device’s location off to stop Facebook from determining your location. But Facebook can still see your IP address which allows it to easily locate where you are. To increase your data security and privacy, you can use a Virtual Private Network (VPN) tool to mask your IP address.
Consider implementing one or more of the above five tips to help limit the amount of data Facebook collects about you.
And once you have conquered Facebook, considering implementing the same privacy and security controls in other online and social media platforms such as Google, Instagram, WhatsApp, Twitter, LinkedIn and Pinterest. Whilst Facebook is certainly the most visible advertising-network, these platforms and apps also collect, store, analyse and share large volumes of sensitive information.