You Do Have Power Over Facebook Tracking

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Alvin Bryan

Alvin Bryan is a freelance writer and online privacy enthusiast enthusiast currently contributing quality tips and troubleshooting on personal VPN services, and online privacy and security news. You can also find him on Google +.

Facebook Tracking PrivacyA lot of people simply cannot give up Facebook. For many, it is the only way that they can stay in touch with friends and family. Even if we are deeply concerned about Facebook tracking, all those people mean more to us. But there are steps that can be taken to reduce the privacy risks. This article is for everyone who wants to prevent invasive Facebook tracking yet don’t care to study the company’s monster of a privacy policy.

Digital Facebook Tracking

Basically, Facebook tracking affects all its users because the company uses this to make money off of advertising. In 2010, they firmly stated that they weren’t using user data for advertising. Now however they do it, a lot. They began by letting businesses post ads on their network. Now advanced Facebook tracking allows them to be much more involved in the process.

Facebook tracking used to be limited to users’ activities on the social network. But now all your browsing and app use can be monitored. This is done so Facebook can pick ads to throw at you. In an effort to take the heat off Facebook tracking, the company has explained how ads are chosen. Users can now also choose what ads they want to remove. It is a small concession, but at least we can do something about Facebook tracking.

Facebook Tracking for Ads

Facebook Tracking AdsFacebook is gathering all the user data that it can for targeted advertising. The more data it can get, the better its chances for choosing ads that users will click on. So Facebook tracking is for the purpose of sending your data to marketing agencies so they can make ads that you will like. Sadly, Facebook users cannot stop this tracking, nor can they prevent the ads from popping up. What they can do is stop certain ads from coming back. Facebook tracking allows this because it helps them target you better. But all you have to do to stop annoying ads is click on the “x” in its top right corner. There’s a popup from which you can see why you are being fed this ad. You can also click “View and manage your ad preferences” to see what Facebook has collected on you. Most importantly, removing items on the list, you can lessen the number of ads that you see. The only thing that you cannot remove is age, location and gender.

To limit Facebook tracking on your Internet browsing, get rid of cookies. This goes for all browsers and all websites you use, and on all devices that connect to Facebook. Some sites won’t function without certain cookies, but you can choose to disable other cookies. By removing the cookies that are used for Facebook tracking, you can stop them from gathering intel on you. And if you can’t block those cookies, you can still prevent Facebook from using your data from the site for advertising. To do this, you need to opt out from the different companies that track users online. The easiest way to opt out of Facebook tracking is to visit aboutads.info/choices/ and find them there. Make sure you look for other Facebook tracking leads to data brokers and ad agencies that also affect Facebook ads. Opting out of everything will not guarantee full privacy since Facebook tracking is also used for security purposes. But it helps.

Don’t Forget Your Smartphone

Facebook Tracking MobileMake sure that you check Facebook tracking on your smartphone. These highly developed devices will put your privacy in much graver danger than your desktop can. Using Facebook on your phone, for instance, tags your location automatically versus setting it on a desktop browser. It also has features like Nearby Friends to track your every move. Smartphones today are made for optimum connectivity, so Facebook tracking can reach several unrelated parts of your phone, like the music that is playing and apps that you use often. Most phones allow you to change settings so you can turn these off and prevent the connections. Be aware, though, that Facebook tracking extends through partner services and their apps.

The Future of Facebook Tracking

Facebook promises to inform users in advance of any changes, but this does not mean that users can do anything about the changes. Although the FTC requires the company to ask user permission, Facebook’s privacy policy supersedes it. You either accept the changes or stop using the site. Stay updated on Facebook changes so you can keep up with the features you can use to maintain a decent level of privacy.