Protecting your personal information on Facebook

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Chris Aguilar
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Protecting your personal information on Facebook

Post by Chris Aguilar » Wed Mar 21, 2018 10:25 am

The best way (though certainly not applicable to many people) is "Don't use Facebook!" :biggrin:

That being said...

Facebook is (as many have known for years and others are now finding out) completely unscrupulous with how they treat your private data.

For many people (myself included) having at least some minimal (in my case, very minimal) presence is difficult to avoid. Many FB users are so accustomed to relying on FB that they will legitimately not use e-mail, texting, phone calls, etc. as a primary means of contact anymore.

If you have an account, do yourself a favor and follow these steps to control some of the more egregious user tracking.


It's interesting that Facebook can also track you all around the web even when you aren't logged into Facebook. And even the steps above might not stop that.

To help with this, I'd recommend checking out the "Privacy Badger" (which is pretty much "set it and forget it) add-on for your browser.
Last edited by Chris Aguilar on Tue Oct 09, 2018 12:30 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Bill Duncan
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Re: Protecting your data on Facebook

Post by Bill Duncan » Wed Mar 21, 2018 11:42 pm

I had long ago disabled all the "other" data, but somehow hadn't turned off Platform.

Thanks.
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Richard Tremblay
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Re: Protecting your data on Facebook

Post by Richard Tremblay » Sat Mar 24, 2018 8:05 am

Thanks!
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Chris Aguilar
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Re: Protecting your personal information on Facebook

Post by Chris Aguilar » Sat Mar 24, 2018 9:41 pm

And, something I never noticed. It's possible to force Facebook to roll up an archive that you can download that will show all information they have about you.

https://lifehacker.com/how-to-find-out- ... 1824022899
To get your own data dump, head to your Facebook Settings and click on “Download a copy of your data” at the bottom of the page. Facebook needs a little time to compile all that information, but it should be ready in about 10 minutes based on my own experience. You’ll receive a notification sending you to a page where you can download the data—after re-entering your account password, of course.

The (likely huge) file downloads onto your computer as a ZIP. Once you extract it, open the new folder and click on the “index.html” to view the data in your browser.

Be sure to check out the Contact Info tab for a list of everyone you’ve ever known and their phone number (creepy, Facebook). You can also scroll down to the bottom of the Friends tab so see what phase of your life Facebook thinks you’re in —I got “Starting Adult Life.”
I did this and was appalled. Especially as I've had the application framework off for years and have made every effort to shield as much as I could short of actually deleting my account.

I can't imagine how much worse perusing this data dump would be for all the regular (or heavy) users out there.
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Re: Protecting your personal information on Facebook

Post by Chris Aguilar » Sat Mar 24, 2018 10:02 pm

"On the Internet, nobody knows if you're a dog... but everybody knows if you're a jackass."

Jeff Haas
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Re: Protecting your personal information on Facebook

Post by Jeff Haas » Sun Mar 25, 2018 12:12 am

Wow, I've done a good job...Facebook doesn't have that much on me.
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Re: Protecting your personal information on Facebook

Post by Chris Aguilar » Sun Mar 25, 2018 9:32 am

One thing the data dump does not include (and it's significant) is a a bunch of separate data (including every search you've ever made on FB(!) that needs to be manually reviewed/curated via many links/pages .

Specifically, the search history is really well hidden, and you can't turn it off. You can only manually go in now and then and force it to clear out. My assumption is that this data is particularly useful in targeting ads to you, and they'd prefer you not clear it. Hence, it's buried under a few menus.

To review/clear any data, you first need to go to the activity log.
activity.JPG
You'll see a laundry list of items to review/revise on the left hand side, but it's not complete... Certain things are hidden by default.
activity2.JPG
You'll need to click the tiny "More" link in the above list to fully expand it. Your search history will now (finally) appear near the very bottom. Click the image to see a larger, more readable version.
activity3.JPG
What a joy it is to sift through all those options and individually curate each one! :rolleyes:
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Chris Aguilar
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Re: Protecting your personal information on Facebook

Post by Chris Aguilar » Sun Mar 25, 2018 9:35 am

Also, has anyone noticed that anyone on your friends list can subscribe you to a group at any time (and without your permission) and there's no way to block that? You have to manually go in an unsubscribe and block (only) that particular group. This was some of the stuff I found, didn't know about, and had to remove/ block.

There's no overarching setting to opt out of that bullshit.
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dchung
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Re: Protecting your personal information on Facebook

Post by dchung » Tue Mar 27, 2018 12:51 pm

If you haven't seen this yet, Mozilla released a new addon that keeps Facebook from gaining information about you when you're on other sites.

https://addons.mozilla.org/en-US/firefo ... container/

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Re: Protecting your personal information on Facebook

Post by Chris Aguilar » Tue Mar 27, 2018 10:02 pm

dchung wrote:
Tue Mar 27, 2018 12:51 pm
If you haven't seen this yet, Mozilla released a new addon that keeps Facebook from gaining information about you when you're on other sites.

https://addons.mozilla.org/en-US/firefo ... container/
Nice! This leverages some pre-existing (and somewhat new) tech called "containers" which work very well. Essentially, this sort of walls off facebook and doesn't let it set tracking cookies and track other websites. Highly recommend this to all firefox users.
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