Protect Your Data and Privacy on Facebook with These 3 Simple Tips

With the Facebook data leak scandal still on the rise, people are now hopefully becoming more aware of their own privacy on the internet. However, quitting Facebook sometimes is just not the right answer since your friends, colleagues, and/or workmates are there, plus do you really want to sacrifice your social activities that much over a scare like this? We must not live in fear forever, right? Not to mention, Facebook has its own perks. So, what should you do to protect your data and privacy on Facebook in order to be able to use it safely in the future? Here are some tips to help you out.

See if your data is harvested by Cambridge Analytica

As scary as the news was about this ordeal, your data is not always leaked. Some people’s data are still safe because they or their friends don’t use an app called This Is Your Digital Life. This app is connected to Facebook and shared the users’ data with Cambridge Analytica. Mark Zuckerberg, CEO of Facebook, said that he was one of the 87 million Facebook users that information is shared with Cambridge Analytica.

Although Facebook will notify you with a message on top of your news feed about this, to see if your data is leaked or not, you can also visit Facebook’s help center. First, go to the Facebook help center then type Cambridge Analytica. Then you will see if you or one of your friends using the app or not are one of the unfortunate harvested profiles. Even if you didn’t use that app, but one of your friends did, then your data still has a higher chance to be one of those harvested by Cambridge Analytica.

Time to check third parties

Remember when the Facebook games are in its prime and everyone is saying “yes” to every single game they played? Well, that could be one of the reasons why your data is leaked. Because these third parties (like games and quizzes) might be able to harvest your data when you allow them to connect to your Facebook account.

Of course, this does not always happen, but you have to check it all again. Especially now that it’s not only games that need a Facebook account, some other apps like photo editor application also needs you to log on to your Facebook. Even though Facebook already tried to protect you by changing its’ policies in 2015 about what information third-party app can have, it never hurts to re-check.

You can check it by clicking on the Settings tab on Facebook then choose Apps and Websites. After that, you can see whatever apps and websites you’ve allowed taking some of your data (usually only birthdates and names). If you see some suspicious apps or websites, you can just remove it and you should be fine once again.

Use the “friends only” button

This should be the easiest and the most common thing to do: use the “Friends Only” button when you’re about to share anything and everything in your daily routine social updates. Some people might choose the Public button for a reason but if you want more privacy, you can use this. Especially when you only have your close friends on Facebook, if you still want a tighter and smaller circle of friends then you can always create or reconfigure your friend list. This option is known as the “Friends with Exception” button, so your status will be shared with your friends but with the exception of some people that you can choose from your friend list. With this, not anyone can see your status or location.

We have to be wise when using social media, not just Facebook. Yes, protecting our data from the third parties is important, but we also have to mind what we share and to whom we share to. This way, this another way we can protect our privacy of disclosure. Some people even post their holiday status one or two weeks after they went home as a trick to avoid a location over-share in real-time, this prevents less risk of cyber crimes as well. Let’s make 2018 a year of wise posting, shall we?

Sarah is a social media content writer for Sonar Platform, currently majoring in Public Relations at the London School of Public Relations, Jakarta

About Sarah Putri 124 Articles
Sarah is a social media content writer for Sonar Platform, currently majoring in Public Relations at the London School of Public Relations, Jakarta

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