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How to stop Facebook sharing your personal info

Without deleting your Facebook account
Posted at 6:28 PM, Mar 20, 2018
and last updated 2018-04-10 15:45:03-04

UPDATED 4/10/18: Many Facebook users are suddenly very uncomfortable after learning that their data may have been shared with non-friends, without their permission.

CEO Mark Zuckerberg is now apologizing before Congress and promising to make it easier for members to restrict what they allow to be shared with marketing firms.

Some are going further, pushing the hashtag #DeleteFacebook.

But you don't have to do that if you know how to change a few settings to protect your privacy.

50 million profiles shared

You may not know the details of the Cambridge Analytica scandal. But many of us have now heard that Facebook admits to sharing data on 87 million of its users after 250,000 people took online quizzes, allowing their contacts' information to be shared as well.

Just think of all the things we put on Facebook: where we live, where we went to school, and the names of our children and relatives. And, of course, what we are doing right now.

Do you really want all of that shared with people you don't know?

The good news: You can opt out of most data sharing if you get into your Facebook settings and take a few minutes.

The tech site Gizmodo has just posted ways to limit your sharing without deleting Facebook.

  • Get onto a desktop or laptop -- it's easier that way -- and click on your Settings, in the upper-right corner of your Facebook page.
  • Gizmodo says "keep your profile scarce" by removing things like your school experience and date of birth.
  • Remove any third-party apps that are using your Facebook info. Look for a setting called "apps others use," then uncheck all the boxes.
  • Turn ad preferences "off." That's how Facebook knows all of your interests.
  • Finally, don't take any personality quizzes. By taking them, you are agreeing to data sharing.

Bottom line: Think of Facebook as a highway billboard. If you don't want it shared, refrain from posting it. That way you stay safe, and you don't waste your money.


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