Facebook is under fire following the revelation that data company Cambridge Analytica acquired data from millions of Facebook users without their knowledge. The news prompted a #DeleteFacebook social media campaign urging users to say goodbye to the platform once and for all.
The company on Tuesday began alerting some users that their data was swept up in the privacy scandal as Facebook founder and CEO Mark Zuckerberg testified before Congress about why the information of more than 80 million Americans was improperly shared with the political research firm.
If you’re hesitant about leaving Facebook cold turkey, there are some ways to ensure your data is safe without deleting your account.
Here are seven tips to lock down your privacy without leaving social media entirely:
Download your Facebook data to see exactly what they know about you.
If you’re concerned about the information you have out there, Facebook allows users to download a copy of their own data, including archived posts, messages and advertisements you’ve clicked on, according to Digital Trends.
How: General Account Settings --> Download a copy of your Facebook data --> Start My Archive.
Check the third-party apps connected to your account.
Under General Account Settings, click on the Apps page to see a list of apps you’ve connected to your Facebook account. If you see an app you’re wary of, hover over it and delete it immediately.
Opt out of Facebook API sharing altogether.
On the same page as the Apps, scroll down until you see Apps, Websites and Plugins. Hit Edit to Disable Platform. This will sign you out of all websites, apps and other services connected to your Facebook account.
Log out of Facebook when you’re not using it.
It’s a simple rule, but how often do you actually log out? According to Tom’s Guide, if you leave your Facebook logged in on your computer, it can still track your movements and share your information with advertisers and other parties.
Adjust your ad settings or delete interests to prevent ad targeting.
Under General Account Settings, scroll down to the Ads page and click on Your Interests. On this page, Facebook uses the selection of interests across a variety of categories, including entertainment, news, hobbies and more to determine what ads you’ll see. You can hover over a selection to delete an interest, or, you can scroll down to Ad Settings.
Under Ad Settings, you have the option of adjusting:
- Ads based on your use of websites and apps (Can you see online interest-based ads from Facebook?)
- Ads on apps and websites off of the Facebook Companies (Can your Facebook ad preferences be used to show you ads on devices such as computers, mobile devices and connected TVs?)
- Ads with your social actions (Who can see your social actions paired with ads?)
Limit who can see your posts, friends list and more under privacy settings.
Under General Account Settings, click Privacy. There, you can limit who sees your future posts, your friends list or who can look you up using the email used on Facebook. You can also click on Timeline and Tagging Settings to adjust preferences for who can post on your timeline, see what posts are on your timeline and more.
Turn off location services.
Turn off location data to limit Facebook’s access and ensure your own physical safety. You can do so by going to General Account Settings --> Location. Check your location services preferences on your smartphone as well.