Your Facebook Data Could Be Used By All Sorts Of Companies; But You Can Stop Them
You’d be surprised at what your Facebook data comprises: your name, your job and school, and even your photos.
Many assumed this data was kept securely with Facebook until this week, when news broke that the social media giant had shared private data with external companies without users’ permission.
This data was then used by a political research firm and used to influence elections, most notably the 2016 Presidential Election in the United States.
Questions remain over who else is using our data, and how.
In light of these revelations, here are some simple steps you can take to secure your private data on Facebook. Because you don’t really want Mafia Wars to know what you’re up to.
Watching me, watching you
The first thing I did was to figure out which apps have access to my Facebook data.
Many of us have conveniently signed up for services by logging in with Facebook instead of creating accounts with our emails.
However, this time-saving “hack” inadvertently gave companies behind apps a front-row seat to your life.
They can find out your gender, username, full name, profile picture and the networks you belong to you. They can also access your friends list and other public information on your profile.
That includes your photos from last Friday night. 😉
Block the prying eyes
1. To find out which apps have your Facebook data, hit the drop down menu on the right of your Facebook app and click “Account Settings“.
3. Select “Logged in with Facebook” to see which have access to your Facebook data. For me, that was a whopping 219 apps. Yikes.
4. The next screen might surprise you: all the apps you’ve collected over the years are probably there.
It seems that I was once curious to know if I was a Hokkien peng. In case you’re wondering, the app resoundingly decided that I wasn’t.
5. Unfortunately, I have no desire for the app developers to know anything about me beyond the fact that I’m not a Hokkien peng.
So the next step is to select the data I don’t want developers to have access to.
6. However, notice details of your public profile can’t be deselected.
To remove this, you need to sever all ties with the app and hit the “Remove App” button at the end of the screen.
This prevents app developers from accessing new data about you.
Unfortunately, your new settings aren’t retroactive, meaning that companies can still access and use your old data.
If you want them to stop using that, you’ll have to contact them directly and settle it with them.
Now why didn’t we know that before?
Featured image via Facebook.