Facebook Privacy

Facebook, Privacy, and You: The Ultimate Guide
Don’t trust Facebook but have to use it? Here’s how to keep your information — and that of your friends — safe and sound.
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Facebook is a behemoth of information. It’s the company’s business model (predicated on advertising and third-party integrations), and it’s not stopping anytime soon.

If you object to your data being used in this manner, you can always delete Facebook, but for many people that’s not a realistic path — Facebook and its Single Sign-On controls are so integrated into people’s lives at this point that it’s nigh-impossible for some to extricate from the platform.

Instead, consider using Facebook’s built-in privacy controls and settings to control your sharing — and give away only the information that you want to have out on the web.

How to check if Facebook shared your personal info with Cambridge Analytica

Cambridge Analytica harvested personal information from 87 million Facebook users. Here’s how to tell if you were affected.
Read more here

Facebook Privacy Checkup

Facebook does offer a handy link that allows a quick adjustment to your account settings.

1 Click the question mark in the top right section of the menu bar on your profile page.

2 Scroll down to “Privacy Checkup.”

3 You’ll be able to quickly view who can see your posts, which apps are currently linked to your account, and what personal information can be seen, and by whom. The checkup option allows you to adjust these all in one place — and lets you edit personal information (update or delete your hometown, relationship status, etc.) — but it shouldn’t replace the deeper dives listed above.

View Yourself as Others on Facebook Do

One useful tool Facebook offers its users is the “View As” option, which allows you to see your profile page as any Facebook user, either a stranger or one of your friends, would when they look at your page. To see this view:

1 Go to your profile page and click on the three dots in the right-hand corner of your cover photo (the large rectangular photo at the top of this page, not to be confused with your profile photo, which is the smaller square photo that appears with your name across the entire site).

2 Scroll down to the “View As” option.

3 Once there, you can see how your page appears to the general public. You also can see how it appears to any of your Facebook friends, allowing you to make sure that any customized settings you’ve enabled are working properly.

Tweak Your Sharing Settings

You can dictate who will see what you post to Facebook. By default, your profile is set to “Public,” meaning anyone on the social network can see your information and posts. Here’s how to limit the audience that can see what you post:

1 Go to your Facebook settings.

2 Click on “Privacy” and you’ll be taken to a page where you can edit “Who can see your posts?” Best practice is to choose “Friends Only” for many or all of these settings. You can also customize a list of Facebook friends who will see your posts, or choose to keep your posts private to yourself only.

3 In the Privacy settings area, you can also opt out of Facebook’s facial recognition system, which scans photos posted to the sites and makes tagging suggestions to other users.

How to download a copy of your Facebook data

With all the news about Facebook recently, you might be wondering, what exactly does Facebook know about me from my profile? Sure, you can peruse your profile online, but that doesn’t tell the whole story. One way to see what Facebook has on you is to download your Facebook data.

The ability to download your Facebook data isn’t really new, but not many users know that you can do it. It only takes a few minutes; how long depends on how big your data files are. Here are the steps to download your Facebook data.

How to disable Facebook’s app platform altogether

If you have too many apps to review at present or you want to turn everything off until you can better assess, Facebook has a dead man’s switch that essentially turns off all data connections between your Facebook app and third-party apps.

How to change app permissions on Facebook on the web

From here, you can edit the permissions for individual apps (by hovering over them and pressing the Edit button), or press the X button to remove them altogether.

How to remove your Facebook data from macOS

Whether you’re planning on keeping your Facebook account, are debating deleting it, or already have, you may have Facebook data stored on your Mac. Here’s how to remove it from macOS.

How to remove third-party accounts like Facebook from your Mac

This article shows you how to manually remove third-party accounts like Facebook from your Mac, which some users may find a germane step in light of the recent data scandal.


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