Some recent events have led me to write this article. This article is about improving our online privacy and how to stop online media from evading and exploiting our privacy by using us as a product. Well, there ain’t no such thing as a free lunch. If something is free to use then how do you think these online services make billions? Back in 2010, Microsoft offered Mark Zuckerberg to buy Facebook for $24 billion. Mark refused the offer. Let’s know more about Facebook Privacy Settings.
Facebook has highest userbase in India, which amounts to around 250 million users, second after the US, which has around 230 million users. The United Kingdom stands at 10th position at around 44 million users. Facebook earns around $25-$30 in US & $2-$2.5 per user in Asia-Pacific. How do you think they earn that? They sell your data. Facebook records each and every activity you commit online not just on Facebook website/app, but also on other websites which has either Facebook like button, comment section or any plugin which is related to Facebook.
If you use Facebook on a smartphone, be it an Android or an iOS, Facebook has access to your call logs, contacts, SMS, Storage, location etc. It has knowledge about everything you do, everyone you talk to, who you are close to, what you talk about, what you share with others. As it has access to SMS, it has access to OTPs also. Also, Facebook has confirmed that it scans each and every image, videos or anything you share using Messenger app. All in all, Facebook is a data hungry platform. Without your data, it’s nothing.
I’m not against Facebook, I just want Facebook to have a better control over whatever data it collects and Facebook, you, don’t you dare sneak into my call logs, contacts and SMS. -_-
Visit Facebook Ad Preferences.
This is a section where you can see all the details Facebook have about you. We will go through these one-by-one.
Your Interests that Facebook knows
Facebook knows about your interests category wise viz. News and Entertainment, Business and Industry, Shopping and fashion etc. They know this because you hit like buttons, comment on posts, talk about them on Facebook or its network which includes Whatsapp, Messenger etc.
Advertisers you’ve interacted with on Facebook
They track your website visits and target you based on your activity.
How Facebook categorizes you
They categorize you as shown below. I’ve erased my details but you can see yours by visiting your own Ad Preferences.
Facebook Ad Settings in Facebook Privacy Settings
Switch all these setting to No. You will still see the Ads but they will not be relevant to your interests.
Hide Ad Topic on Facebook Privacy Settings
Set these to Permanently.
Install Free Ghost Chrome Extension
Ghost is a chrome extension which which blocks each and every fingerprinting techniques on websites you visit so that companies like Facebook, Google won’t be able to track your activities and won’t be able to collect your data.
Use a VPN
VPN stands for Virtual Private Network. It is an encrypted tunnel between two devices which allows you to access every website and online service privately and securely.
Things a VPN do for you:
- Stay Private
- Defeat Censorship
- Save Money
- Encrypt Everything
- Extend Your Coverage
ExpressVPN is an awesome VPN service that I personally use. It hides your IP Address and routes your connection through a proxy IP so that you won’t get tracked and you’ll be anonymous online. Make sure you use its premium plan as the free plan isn’t much secure. I renew ExpressVPN service every year. It provides me the security that every person deserves.
Confuse Facebook: Remove original information from Facebook
Remove all your original data from Facebook. Provide them with a fake date of birth, like random pages so that they won’t be able to reproduce you a real user profile of you. Set a different city as your current city. And most importantly, never ever provide your location permission to these applications be it on your Android or your web browser.
Facebook App Permissions
What do you think about Facebook Privacy Settings? Got a tip? Tell us in the comment section below!