User privacy has never been the most critical concern for Facebook. Even though your personal data means a lot to you, it may not be something that is prioritized by the network. However, the recent news about the information of more than 50 million users being harvested by Cambridge Analytica escalated the concern for the users as well as Facebook itself. The data was accessed and utilized for the US elections in 2016, all without explicit user permissions.
Even after one of the biggest privacy lapses that the king of social media sites has been held notorious for. It is still acclaimed for some robust tools that it offers to the users.
On the flip side, these tools are not easy to find and even lack in terms of the level of protection that they provide. There is a need to make the users aware of these security tools so that they can work at their end to ensure that their personal information is not compromised at any cost. Here are some tips and tools that you should know about.
1. Ensuring That the Apps You Use Are in Check
As a user, you may have shared permissions to access your Facebook account with a variety of apps. This means that these apps get a deep insight into your Facebook profile so that they can access personal information about you and your friends. This is how Cambridge Analytica was able to hack the data of millions of users.
As an answer, it is suggested that you should audit the apps that you have permitted to access your Facebook account and simply get rid of the ones that are absolutely not needed. This is to be done for the desktop and the mobile.
- For web settings: Click the downward-facing triangle at the top right of Facebook.com to access the drop-down menu. Select settings and then click Apps.
- For mobile settings: Tap the three-line button placed at the top right of the Facebook app. Choose Account Settings and then tap Apps. These steps are to be followed for the Android. For iPhone, the three-line button at the bottom right of Facebook’s app has to be clicked first. Choose Settings, go to Account Settings, and then select Apps.
2. Disable the Apps Completely
While selectively disabling some of the Facebook apps is one option, the other is to disable the Facebook app platform itself. With this, you can add extra protection to your data as third-party apps or websites will not be able to access it through OAuth.
However, you will not be able to use any apps or games yourself once you turn off the Platform apps. Similarly, your friends will be unable to share or interact with you using these apps and sites. Also, the posts by these apps will no longer remain in your profile.
3. Control the Information That You Share With Your Friends
Another key tip to safeguard your Facebook data is to limit the information that you share with your friends and also the number of friends you share it with.
- Start by heading to Settings and then select the Privacy option. Select “Who can see my posts” and click on “Who can see my future posts” for managing your defaults. You get the option to go public or limit the circle on the basis of criteria such as employers, schools, geography, and more.
- Tweak the settings in “How people find and contact you” by sharing only as much information that you want to.
- You can even control tagged posts by enabling “Review posts you’re tagged in before the post appears on your timeline” option.
- For controlling the information that your friends can see and share with third-party apps. Go to App Settings, click Edit below Apps Others Use. Then check the boxes placed next to the information you want to be visible to your friends in the apps that they use and click Save.
4. Use “Access Your Information” Setting
The “Access Your Information” setting enables the users to access and delete posts. Comments, reactions, and searches from their profile or timeline. The feature has been introduced by Facebook to provide extensive control to the users over what is posted on their profiles.
5. Use New Privacy Shortcuts
The Privacy Shortcuts menu is another new feature that Facebook has come up with to facilitate data control for the users. With this menu, they can avail all new privacy shortcut settings such as two-factor authentication, profile privacy, control over personal information, control over advertisement information, and more.
6. Other Security Measures
Besides the aforementioned security controls, there are some regular measures that Facebook provides for extra privacy. The Security and Login settings page indicates the device and location from where the account is logged in. Users can change the password. Enable two-factor authentication, and use a profile picture instead of a password to log in for extra privacy.
It is important to check the Facebook mobile app permission details. Including access to the device memory, camera, microphone, location, and more.
With such awesome tools that Facebook offers for user privacy. It is the responsibility of the user to avail them to their advantage. These controls can be adequate to strengthen your account provided that you use them in the right way.
Moreover, after the Cambridge Analytica scandal, Facebook is expected to come up with additional security measures at its own end too. So if you are a true FB-enthusiast. There are still no reasons to worry as you can keep connecting and sharing with the same confidence!!