ATLANTA - Facebook is now under federal investigation. The FTC has confirmed it's looking into possible violations of user privacy. Some folks are dumping the social media giant. In response, Facebook says it'll make securing your information easier.
Currently, it takes about 20 steps to really lock down your Facebook information. The company just announced it will make one, easy-to-use landing page handy for security privacy. But it's not available. yet. But there are things you can do in the meantime.
But first let's remember why are we talking about this. A data firm called Cambridge Analytica accessed information from about 50 million Facebook users without their knowledge. What did they get? Well, you can download your archive and see what it is. I did it. And, whomever has this data knows my contact list, phone number, address, groups I belong to, invitations I've received. And they have my pictures, my messages, you name it.
First, let me show you how to download your archive. It's super easy. Go to 'settings' in the upper right-hand corner of your FB page. Then 'general' then 'download a copy'. Then wait. I did it and and it promptly saved it to my computer. In that downloaded list you'll see what they saw - photos, messages, contact information, advertisers who have access.
Now, you can delete your FB account. Or you can keep it and manage the exposure outsiders have to your information.
First, get rid of any third party apps that you've OK'd to have your private info. Go back to 'general,' in settings then click on apps. A page pops up showing all connected third party apps. I have never purposefully connected to these apps, but every once in a while I check and find someone one got in. I personally delete it. You can still enjoy yet delete them by connecting the group to an email instead. Pinterest would be a great example.
Second, getting advertisements you don't understand or don't want? Go to one of the ads, and hit the "x" or the down arrow in the right hand corner. Right there at "Why Am I seeing this?" you should click. Once inside you can disconnect.
Three, and for goodness sakes stop taking those Facebook quizzes. "Find out what color your personality is" stuff is a no no. Your personality isn't any color. The developer is using that tool for you to tell them personal information about you.
Think it's no big deal? Well, chew on this. These seemingly fun quizzes are fine-tuned. With 68 Facebook likes, university researchers, were able to determine your skin color, your sexual orientation and what political party you belonged to. And by the time they drilled down on 300 of your Facebook likes, strangers on the other end knew more about your than your spouse.