Social media giant Facebook is mired in a catastrophic controversy of the data breach. The Cambridge Analytica Scandal which exposed how data of millions of users was used illegally, brings the question of online privacy to the fore. Although it is always advised to be careful with what you share on social media, many do not realise the risks associated with sharing too much. Mark Zuckerberg, the founder not just acknowledged the loopholes but also agreed that even calls and text messages of users were being spied upon. But the big catch was the user agreed to it. Since the scandal has come out, now a lot of users are contemplating over app permissions, some opting to just delete their accounts altogether. But is that the only solution?
The privacy measures on Facebook do allow you to control the audience of your posts and photos but the end user of the platform- Facebook, has it all stored. While you may be controlling your photos from being viewed by a particular person or group, they are actually available to a lot of other people online! Here is how you can control your data from being shared excessively.
How to prevent your calls and text messages data tracking:
The Facebook Messenger app is utterly responsible for access to your device’s hardware and information like your contacts and call logs. The messaging application asks for your permission to upload your contacts as well as your call and text history. You should select skip or not now option. In case you have already given the permissions, here is what you can do-
Open Messenger on Your Phone.
Tap on Your Profile Picture.
Scroll down and tap on People.
Tap on Synced Contacts.
Turn Setting to Off.
How to prevent location tracking on Facebook:
Open the Facebook App on your phone.
In the top right corner, go to Settings and select Account settings.
You will see an option of Location.
Turn off the Location services.
Recheck this place every time you make a check-in anywhere on Facebook.
These steps ensure your phone data, location is not being stored by the application. But many a times we use Facebook from our laptops or computers. The social media can track even your web history, your likes, interests etc to make you a consumer of their ads. So you should be equally careful while using a browser for operating Facebook. Google Chrome is the most common browser used by people everywhere. Now in the light of the recent scandal, Mozilla Firefox has come up with an extension which will prevent your data sharing.
Firefox Add-on Facebook Container:
If you use the Mozilla Firefox browser, install the Facebook Container add-on which is designed in such a manner that it makes it difficult for the social media site to track your behavior online.
When you install this, it will automatically log you out of Facebook. When you log back in, Facebook will run inside a digital container that isolates it from the rest of your activity online. It will delete your Facebook cookies before you log in. There can be a downside to this, you may have to change your credentials if you use your social ones for other sites. Embedded Facebook comments and Like buttons in tabs outside the Facebook container tab will not work but it is still a safer measure if you are really concerned about what you are sharing.
Do Not Take The Quizzes:
What does your kidnapper say about you? How did God make you? Which Harry Potter house you belong to? All of these quizzes seem too appealing but there is a pop-up which asks for access to sharing information on your profile. At times there may be an option to uncheck it, many times there isn’t. And with the need to know the results so bad, we go ahead and take the test anyway. These tests give your information to the third-party alliance which conducts the tests. You are unknowingly supplying your profile access and information to third-party apps. Not just your own, they also have an access to your friend list, making it easier to sort the people in groups. Even when your friends are taking a quiz, your information could be shared unknowingly. The quizzes just analyse your profile and give you the desired result, the two minutes of laughter is a way of sharing content of 200 others. So best is refrain from them and tell your friends to not to resort to them too.
Other than following these measures, you should also make it a point to review your settings time and again. Messenger applications keep giving you the notification with new contacts but make sure it remains unchecked at all times. Also, keep updating your passwords every 6 months for a better control over your account. Yes, it may seem a tedious thing to do but it is always better to be extra careful than suffer later in times of such information leaks!