When Facebook launched in 2004, it revolutionized how we communicate and network. Long lost friends and classmates found each other on Facebook, and it became easier to communicate with anyone on the face of the earth. There were other social media platforms before Facebook, but Facebook took off in unprecedented ways, becoming one of the most popular platforms on earth. Like all other social media platforms, Facebook has risks attached to it, especially data leakage. A lot of people don’t know how their data are leaked on Facebook while some may not know how to stop data leakage on Facebook. In this article I will explain to you how to stop data leaking on Facebook.
The great Facebook data controversy
What Facebook has on you is far more than the little biographical information that you share. Facebook tracks us on various apps and sites, all the while collecting biometric facial data. Facebook is not new to controversy. In 2018, Congress summoned Facebook’s chief executive Mark Zuckerberg to explain how personal data of more than 80 million Facebook users got into the hands of Cambridge Analytica; a voter-profiling company.
Zuckerberg was grilled at length on Facebook’s extensive data mining, and its use of various tracking software that follows the activities of millions of consumers on other sites on the internet, whether you have a Facebook account or not. Using sophisticated artificial intelligence, Facebook can learn anything about you and analyze your behavior from that knowledge. You may be asking yourself the question; how can you stay private on Facebook? How can you stop data leakage on Facebook?
Now let us take a look at the ways you can stop data leaking on Facebook.
How to stop data leaking on Facebook
Social media is not going to fade from our lives any time soon most especially Facebook, its popularity keeps growing day by day. This makes privacy more important than ever. There are a lot of ways data can be leaked on social media but I will be explaining step-wisely on how to stop data leaking on Facebook.
With some knowledge and a dash of commonsense and caution, you can enjoy social media with fewer risks of leaking your data. Here are a few precautions you can take to stop data leaking from Facebook:
● Limit the information Facebook uses for ads
If you limit the information that Facebook uses to bring you ads, you will reduce some risks. Navigate to settings and choose “Ads” on your left. Go to the section named “Your ad preferences” and select “Ad settings.”
Under “Ads based on data from partners,” you can opt to stop seeing ads based on data held by Facebook partner companies. For example, Facebook says if you permit it to use this data, you may see ads for apparel shops if you visit apparel websites.
The next part is “Ads based on your activity on Facebook company products that you see elsewhere.” In this section, you can opt if Facebook can use specific information they have on you to tailor the ads you view on different websites. This is how you can see ads outside Facebook while shopping on a website or reading a news article. You may opt-out of all, but Facebook continues to tailor ads using your biodata such as age, gender, location and the preferences of people who like the same things you do.
● Remove third-party app permissions
When a whistleblower blew the whistle on Facebook and Cambridge Analytica and the data mined from Facebook, it became clear how much of our data Facebook transfers to other third-party organizations. Since the controversial incident, Facebook altered the options for the way third-party apps use your information.
Go to your settings and check, just to be sure, and from the “Settings” page, select “Apps and Websites” on the rail on your left. On the web page, go to the top, where you will see a list of websites and apps that you had allowed to use your Facebook account.
Here, you have the liberty to limit third-party apps data requests or remove them completely. Under “Preferences,” look for a section called “Apps, websites and games.” Select “Edit” to turn off their access to your account.
If you choose not to connect your Facebook account with third-party apps, you cannot log into these apps using your Facebook account, or even use Facebook’s features such as “comment” or “like” on these third-party apps or websites.
● Use other blocking tools
You do not necessarily have to use Facebook settings to lock your data, but you can use other tools for your privacy. Safari browser automatically blocks Facebook or any other third-party app from using web trackers such as browser fingerprinting and third-party cookies. If you want to limit Facebook’s surveillance, it is important to control these trackers.
Facebook uses browser fingerprinting to keep records of your activities, even with cleared cookies. Third-party cookies allow Facebook to track all your activities on any website that uses Facebook’s like, comment and share features. If you opt to use these features, Safari lets you enable it after it asks you the first time.
● Avoid installing the app
You can stay safe by not installing the Facebook app on your phone at all. This prevents Facebook from adding your contacts to the biodata it already has on you. The other option is deleting your Facebook app on your phone. You may want to consider quitting other Facebook-owned apps such as WhatsApp, Instagram, and Messenger. This does not stop other tech and ad companies such as Google and others from mining your data. Companies track our information online all the time; we just never realize it.
Also Read: How to recover your hacked Facebook account
As much as everyone loves Facebook, this makes people at risk of data leaking on Facebook. In the past few years, Facebook has been caught up in a lot of controversies over data mining. Facebook tracks people so much that some people are afraid that it eavesdrops on their conversations via their in-built microphone feature. Of course, Facebook has denied this, but it just shows the mistrust most people have in the app after it was caught in the data scandal in 2018, which ended up in the US Congress.
To limit how much of your data Facebook collects, you can take precautions such as limiting the information Facebook uses for ads, removing third-party app permissions, using other blocking tools, and uninstalling the app. Most of the popular social platforms are linked to Facebook, as are other third-party apps. This makes it very difficult to avoid websites from tracking you, but you can limit how much information they collect.