Tuesday, September 20, 2016

How to see and block the Companies that's tracking you via Facebook

Did you know that when you allow an app or a site to access your Facebook profile, you are giving more information than you actually allow? No doubt that Facebook is a great tool for you to keep in touch with family and friends, spread the latest information and so forth, but like all free apps online, there's always a hidden cost you'd have to pay.

If you're using Facebook as an authorizing app for sites and downloaded apps, you're giving those companies that operates those sites and apps tons of information about yourself for it to customize their respective sales pitch in one form or another to you.

Most people when they first signed up to Facebook will put in tons of information, from email address and phone numbers to your work history and physical home address. And most people don’t realze that if you’re sharing any of that data with your friends then apps used by those friends can see that data too!

Advertisers, Facebook app developers, and Facebook ad tech partners don’t get a direct look at your personal data. They won’t see that my name is Mike Yip, my phone number is 01xxxxxxx, I’m male, and I run my own Business — Facebook hashes and blocks certain  data to protect user’s privacy and gives it back to partners in bulk so they can’t identify individuals — but nevertheless, this data is being used in order to serve you better-targeted ads.

If you’re worried about your privacy on Facebook, you can do two things:

  • Opt out of ad tracking
  • Look up the list of app companies that are logged in to your Facebook account, and edit that list.

Now that we know what we are looking for, let's deal with each problem one by one. Oh wait, before we go any further, you can only do this using your desktop browser and not through the mobile app. Got it? Let us begin!

Opt out of ad tracking

This is quite an easy one to do, just follow the following steps:

1. Click on the down arrow at the far right of your Facebook page.

2. Go to the settings.

3. Click on the Ads button.

4. In each section of Ads, click on the “edit” buttons.

5. Inside all the edit menus, it will show you a list of settings to choose from and all you have to do is turn it all to No and No One.

Now there's no SAVE button after you click on each one as it'll automatically be saved as your choice even after you leave the page. If you get slightly paranoid about it, exit the page and enter again to make sure the changes is set properly. All set? Now let's explore the next one.

App Minimizing and Blocking

Now for the apps. That requires a bit more digging. Repeat step 1 and 2 like above to bring you over to the SETTING page. See the APP button just above the Ads button you click on in Step 3? Click on that. Done? Let us continue.

6. You'll see a few boxes, click on EDIT on the first one and you'll be presented with this. These are the apps that is tracking me, you might have a different list but they are basically similar in terms of what they try to do. Click on Show All to see all the apps that is tracking you. That's seriously a lot, right?

7. At each app, there's 2 functions for you to choose from, Click the Pencil icon to edit and X to delete.

8. There's a series of boxes for you to choose from once you click on EDIT, DESELECT the ones you don't want the app to pry into and click SAVE at the bottom of each app-page.

9. Now, once you have done all that, Head to the next box in the app page that says Apps others use. Click on EDIT and you'd be presented with a series of option for you to choose from.

10. Choose what you want and don't want future apps to see and click SAVE once you're done. From now on, whenever an app wants to have access to your Facebook profile, these are the information you'd allow those apps to see.

11. One final bit, don't touch the Apps, Websites and Plugins unless you know how to configure that bit separately and choose whether you want everyone to see older postings from Old Versions of Facebook for Mobile, but that's if you are anal about those information.

That's about it, Once you've done all those, you're DONE! Simple right? If you have any questions, do drop me a comment below and I'll try to answer them as best that I can.

Blogs about Dance, Travel and Food, Photography and gadgets that he purchases for work. Am available to do reviews.


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