The Data Lowdown

By now, you’ve probably heard about Facebook’s latest breach. Cambridge Analytica, a data analytics firm used by Donald Trump’s 2016 Presidential campaign, misused data of 50 million Facebook Users. The data was acquired by a third party app, then sold to the firm to use in targeting election ads.

The story is causing people to question, can Facebook really be trusted to protect personal information? Our answer- better safe than sorry. Here are a few tips on keeping your data safe on Facebook.

  1. Turn Off Locations Services. Location services tracks your movement at all times. It knows when you’re at home, at work, or at your favorite coffee shop. It’s sensitive data that you probably don’t want shared with third-party apps. You can edit location services in the “Privacy” section on iOS, or “Account Settings” on Android.
  2. Strip Third Party Apps’ Access To Your Facebook. It’s fun to take quizzes and play games on Facebook, but often times those apps are harvesting your personal information in exchange for your 5 minutes of fun. In Facebook Settings, visit the “Apps” section and see how many third-parties have access to your page. From there, you can disable any apps you don’t trust.
  3. Limit Sharing. If your posts are public, your friends can share them, then their friends can see and share them, and on and on. Fortunately you are able to change who has access to view your posts and photos. Under “Privacy,” go to the section labeled “Your Activity.” There, you’ll be able to choose to share your posts with only those who are your friends on Facebook. Underneath that section, you can also limit who is allowed to send you friend requests, access your friends list, search for your profile on the web, and more.
  4. Remove Your Personal Information. Many folks on Facebook share their employment, education history, contact info, and more. Click the question mark on the top right corner of your Facebook page and run through a Privacy Check. This will help you see what personal information you’re sharing, and if you see something you aren’t comfortable sharing publicly, remove it.
  5. Remove Ad Preferences. Visit this page to see the personal information Facebook gives to advertisers. You can remove the ability for advertisers to target you based on your personal information like your relationship status, sexual orientation, and level of education.

Follow these steps, and you’ll be able to keep your friends close… but those companies and data sharing services at more than an arms length away.😉