‘Big Tech’ is watching you. Here’s how you can see what it is that they know and share about you.
We live in a brand new era — we are on one hand concerned about privacy rights, online fraud, identity theft, etc. and yet, millions of us willingly (and unknowingly!) hand over vast quantities of data to about ourselves to private companies solely for them to profit from this information.
The social media giants are looking into all of your online activities. They are everywhere.
We’ve already warned you that Facebook is messing with your newsfeed to show you what they want you to see.
Social Media is definitely a two-edged sword.
If the Cambridge Analytica data mining is so bad, just wait until the ‘favors’ that Facebook did for the Obama 2012 campaign hits the fan! Whoa, Nelly! That is waaaaay worse than using the information gathered from an online poll.
The social media giant continues to deal with the fallout from its massive data scandal, after it was revealed that 50 million members’ data had been harvested without their knowledge.
Since then, many people have been waking up to the fact that user data collection is the backbone of Facebook.
Downloading your archived user data from Facebook may reveal a laundry list of eyebrow-raising data points, from your personal call records, to text messages, as well as your location each time you log into the site.
Does that tick you off?
You’re not alone.
Here’s what you can do about it.
First, download a copy of your archive to learn what Facebook knows about you.
Here’s how to do it:
1. Log into your Facebook account
In the right-hand corner of your News Feed, there should be an arrow that displays a dropdown menu.
From there, click on ‘Settings’ and click on ‘Download a copy of your Facebook data’ at the bottom of the screen.
That will take you to a new page, where you can click on ‘Start My Archive’ to get a copy of what you’ve shared on the site, as well as any personal data that’s been collected.
Facebook may ask for your email and password
is to notify you when the archive is ready to be downloaded. It could take some time depending on how long you have been on Facebook and how much data you have. It could take up to 10 minutes or more if you have been active on Facebook for years.
2. Change your Facebook tracking settings
Facebook has given users of its social network the option to opt out of ad tracking via the site.
First, log in to Facebook, go to Settings, then click on ‘Ads’ in the menu on the left-hand side of the screen.
Under Ad Settings, click on the button that says ‘Ads on apps and websites off of the Facebook Companies.’
Then scroll down to the bottom and select ‘No.’
Facebook says that if you select that option, it means that you’ll still see ads, but ‘they won’t be as relevant to you.’
Additionally, you may still see ads related to your age, gender or location.
3. Change the settings on your smartphone or tablet to limit targetted advertisements
If you own an iPhone or iPad, the steps to block targeted adverts are relatively simple.
Go to Settings, tap Privacy and then scroll down to click on Advertising.
From there, swipe the ‘Limit Ad Tracking’ button.
If you choose to leave the ‘Limit Ad Tracking’ feature off, that means that advertisers can track your browsing behavior by assigning your device a unique ID number, or a Identifier For Advertising.
In turn, it will be harder for ad technology companies to track your browsing behavior.
If you own an Android phone or tablet, the process is very similar.
Open up Settings, navigate to Accounts and Sync, select Google, then Ads and finally, select ‘Opt Out of Interest Based Ads.’
4. Change your browser settings
If you’re browsing the internet on Google Chrome, go to ‘Settings’ in the right-hand dropdown menu.
From there, click on ‘Show advanced settings,’ then select Privacy.
Finally, click on ‘Send a do not track request with your browsing traffic.’
A popup on Chrome further explains what this means: ‘Enabling Do Not Track means that a request will be included with your browsing traffic.
‘Any effect depends on whether a website responds to the request, and how the request is interpreted.’
‘For example, some websites may respond to this request by showing you ads that aren’t based on other websites you’ve visited.’
‘Many websites will still collect and use your browsing data– for example, to improve security, to provide content, services, ads, and recommendations on their websites, and to generate reporting statistics.’
What this means is that not all websites necessarily have to honor ‘Do Not Track’ requests.
The Facebook archived files can go back for more than a decade and can include information that you thought had been deleted.
Some users were shocked to see that Facebook had contact information for every person in their address book, while an CNN reporter said that it had the phone number for her late grandmother who never had a Facebook account or an email address.
Many were also surprised to learn which advertisers Facebook had shared their data with.
In some cases, the list of advertisers climbed to as more than 100 different companies.
If that doesn’t set your mind at ease, and you don’t want Facebook profiting from your profile, you can delete your account.
Click on the ‘help’ button on the top right hand corner of your Facebook page.
There is a search bar that says ‘How can we help?’. Type in ‘delete account’.
This will link you to Facebook’s Delete Account page, where you will need to select ‘Delete My Account’ and enter your login credentials.
‘If you do not think you will use Facebook again and would like your account deleted, we can take care of this for you’, the message reads.
‘Keep in mind that you will not be able to reactivate your account or retrieve any of the content or information you have added.’
After two weeks, Facebook will begin the process of deleting all your data from the site, which may take up to 90 days.
If you want to keep your personal data you need to download it before deleting your account.
To download your archive go to ‘Settings’ and click ‘Download a copy of your Facebook data’ at the General Account Settings tap.
Then click ‘Start My Archive’.
Source: Daily Mail
So, why do that?
I’m not sure. Perhaps it’s better to use the platform and take control of your own information.
That is sure to stick it to them.
by Doug Giles
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