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May 22, 2018

What Facebook knows about you and how to change it in 3 steps (2018)

Emma Baumhofer - Digital Marketing Manager

Facebook is on a lot of people’s minds lately, especially with Mark Zuckerberg’s recent US Congressional hearings and his interview with the European Parliament this week. His company is at the forefront of a global discussion around privacy and data. Your inbox is also undoubtedly flooded with updated privacy notices and newsletter reconfirmations as the GDPR scramble reaches a new level of frenzy and “spring cleaning” takes on a new digital meaning.

While we’re on the topic of privacy and digital housekeeping, when is the last time you actually went in and checked all of your Facebook settings? By now most of us have hidden or deleted those embarrassing college party photos, but Facebook’s privacy setting options change often enough that it’s worth taking another peek and tightening up the ship.

Listening to this recent Gadget Guru podcast on WRS, I realized there are actually A LOT more Facebook privacy settings and controls than I thought, including the ability to edit what topics FB ads target you for. It’s both fascinating and bizarre to see Facebook’s estimation of me – in many respects, they’re actually not far off.

Update your Facebook app, ad and privacy settings in 3 easy steps

Step 1 – privacy

Open your Facebook Settings by clicking on the small arrow in the top right corner of your profile. Start by going into the Privacy area and check who can see your FB content and how users can find you. This bit you may have done already. There are also preferences you can set about facial recognition and location tracking.

Step 2 – apps

This part gets a bit more interesting. Continue down that list in settings to Apps & Websites. This bit shows aaaallllll of the apps that you’ve granted access to your profile over the years. There are probably a whole lot more in there than you remember. These are the skeletons in your closet! All of the games and apps there have varying levels of access to your timeline and profile information. Time to do some spring cleaning.

Step 3 – ads

This is where it gets really juicy. Did you know you can actually see what Facebook thinks about you? There is a whole profile built up about your perceived interests based on your likes, activity and interaction with ads. It’s pretty interesting! Have a browse and clear out everything that isn’t relevant to you, although you may find that FB knows you better than you think.

 

 

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