Recently we have heard worrying revelations about how Facebook manages and protects user data. Or, more accurately, how they appear to not protect user data very well at all. Now is the perfect time to familiarise yourself with how the company operates, and how to stop Facebook spying on you outside of Facebook itself.
Facebook profits from your data
Facebook is a free service – for users. They also have customers – and your data is the product they sell. CEO Mark Zuckerberg admitted during the recent Facebook / Cambridge Analytica scandal that “most” of the 2 BILLION users’ #data has been compromised. Sadly, that includes YOUR data. What do we mean when we talk about Facebook data? Everything, really. Not only the basics like your name, email address, phone number, and your friends; it also includes your geographical location, date of birth, the details and contents of your private messages. Furthermore it includes all your photos, all your likes, comments, status updates – literally what you look like, what you do, who with, and where. Even what you are thinking about at a given time (status updates), or who you have had some disagreement with (blocked people). Everything you have ever posted or done on Facebook is already compromised. So what can you do about it now?
Facebook spies on users… and non-users
While we have already started seeing more #privacy controls appearing in our Facebook News Feed, the fact is that even by using the platform; you are giving away endless personal data which can be used to profit from you, or even be used against you.
Even if you have NEVER had a Facebook account, the company almost definitely has a profile on you. How? Any time someone invites you, or allows Facebook to access their phone contacts and you are saved in their phone, Facebook logs whatever data it can get.
If another friend does the same, even if you do not respond or sign up, Facebook now knows you know those people.
If someone tags you in a photograph on Facebook – that is, they click your face in the picture and then type your name – that personal data is combined with your facial bio-metric data… it gets quite frightening, quite quickly.
Facebook even scans and stores all facial bio-metric data from all photos and media uploaded or shared to the website – a website with legal privacy issues for more than 15 years (Zuckerberg was first charged with breach of security, violating copyrights, and violating individual privacy for the Facebook-predecessor “Facemash”; a platform for rating the attractiveness of female students on the Harvard campus.)
It is clearly evident that Facebook is spying on us, both inside and outside of the site itself. We all must take steps to protect our privacy, our data, and stop Facebook spying outside of Facebook.
How to stop Facebook spying on all online activity
So, how can you protect yourself against the questionable data handling practices of the social media giant?
Easy! Just switch to #Firefox and install the Facebook Container browser extension for Firefox. It comes from privacy champions Mozilla – the team behind the Firefox browser.
If you don’t already use Firefox, we strongly recommend it. It is focused on privacy, user-friendly and fast. You can download it here.
Then, after you have installed Firefox, you can install the browser extension directly from here.
You can also take a look at this detailed installation guide for both Firefox and the Facebook Container extension, from Mashable.com, here.
If you need help to stop Facebook spying on you, if you are are unsure about your online privacy, or you simply would like to check that you are already protected – just click here to get in touch and we’ll happily help you, whatever concern you may have.
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