Keep Facebook at bay

The recent scandal revealing Facebook information has been shared without the knowledge of users, has highlighted the need to review data privacy.

It’s been revealed that third parties have had access to information about almost everything we do in our everyday lives. Most of us have allowed it to happen because we haven’t changed the default settings in Facebook.

So here’s some advice that will keep most of your information private to you only.*

Go to Facebook’s Settings. It’s a good idea to review all the tabs and make appropriate changes. 

The Privacy tab is the biggie here. It’s where you can limit who sees your Facebook information, such as your posts, photos, email address and phone number. If it’s only friends who you want to see your information, change the list in “Your activity” and “How people can find and contact you” to “Only friends”.

Make sure you click “Limit” for the audience for past posts, and select “No” for the setting “Do you want search engines outside of Facebook to link to your profile?”.

Don’t use Facebook to log in to another service or application. It makes login simple, but by doing so you’re giving both Facebook and the third-party service access to your data. Use a separate password unique to that service. In Facebook’s Settings is a link “Apps and websites”. This shows the apps and websites you’ve logged into using Facebook. Delete any or all.

And finally, turn off your location setting on your mobile device (usually Settings > Privacy > Location Services). This will stop Facebook and other apps knowing where you are – and where you’ve been. You might have to put up with some of your apps asking you to turn it on again to use them (though why using the Lotto app to check a ticket requires Location Services seems odd).

After all this, you have to remember that Facebook will still keep track of all your Facebook activity, including what ads you click on, what you “Like” and what you read.

· If you’re managing a business page on Facebook, consider carefully any changes you make. You will probably want as many people as you can to see your information.

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