What The Tech?: More Facebook Mistakes

CHARLOTTE – Facebook says it takes the privacy and security of its users seriously. That may be hard for some people to believe but much of the information gathered and shared with advertisers isn’t gathered by Facebook without permission, but by people giving permission to do it. If you haven’t taken a look at what information you’re sharing with advertisers may want to take Facebook’s Privacy checkup.

There’s a lot to process so let’s hit the high points:

Have you signed into an app or website using your Facebook login? We all have. It’s a good idea to review those logins. Under settings and permissions, look at apps and websites. These are all the sites and apps you’ve connected to your Facebook account. These companies have access to your Facebook information. You’ll see some here you’ve forgotten about. Many will date back years. review them, and delete any you no longer use.

Also under security, look at off-Facebook activity. These are companies that share information when you visit their website. Facebook uses this information to push ads your way that you’ve shown interest in. You may see hundreds here all sharing your web activity with Facebook such as when you open its website or app, what you searched for, purchased, and added to a wishlist. When I looked under this tab I found a website I visited the site once or twice recently that shared over 29-thousand interactions I had on its website with Facebook. That shouldn’t be worrisome if it’s a company you frequently do business with, but if it’s a company you have no memory of using, it’s a good idea to stop sharing with them.

You can’t pull information from the past but you can stop sharing in the future. It’s also a good idea to check where you’re logged in to Facebook. If you see any you don’t recognize, you can log out of that device, or all of them. you’ll just have to log back in on the devices you use.

If you use a VPN or virtual private network, don’t freak out because of the long list here. Facebook tracks the location of those logins and a VPN, for safety reasons, will log you in from locations around the world to protect your actual location and IP address.

Not only will these privacy changes protect your information being shared, but they could also reduce the risks of being hacked.