Protect Yourself from Facebook Spying!


According to the reports, Facebook may be compromising your privacy therefore there is a certain need to take measures to protect yourself. Following are the ways you’d be upon by and how you can protect your information from them.

  1. ‘Timeline’ feature can expose your old mistakes
    Timeline gives your friends the chance to search back through your old posts from the past, by scrolling down your profile to a definite time, thus exposing some old embarrassing images that you may have uploaded long ago and do not desire to be seen by others.

Defense:

      • Set privacy for new posts:

      • Hide from Timeline
  1. Facebook “like” buttons spy on you

Defense:

      • Block your web browser from saving cookies. By doing this, none of your id or passwords will get saved, and you’d have to re-enter your credentials every time you want to login.
      • Delete cookies formation in a browsing session. For that, you can do all web activity in “Incognito” mode (Google Chrome), “InPrivate” mode (Internet Explorer), “Private” mode (Firefox and Safari).
      • Free plug-ins can also be downloaded to prevent Facebook from tracking you e.g. ‘Facebook Blocker’, ‘Disconnect’ or ‘Privacy Badger’ but from an authentic source.
  1. Third-party appsThese can either be games or quizzes that are created by 3rd party applications which, once clicked take the user to an external source from Facebook e.g. TripAdvisor, Farmville, Skype, Yelp etc. Many of these apps or games are free, thus harvesting your personal details, while staying in covert mode, and then then selling out your information to publicists. The information they access may include your religious affiliations, age, gender, political affiliations, sexual orientations etc.

Defense:

      • Read carefully the User Agreement and Privacy Policy.
      • You must understand what permissions you allow, prior to signing up to any app.
      • An Internet tool ‘Privacy Score’ is available on the internet free of cost. It can be installed to help you evaluate correctly the app’s privacy policies.

  1. “Social readers” may give out your reading habits to your Facebook friends. Certain website (like The Washington Post, The Huffington Post) give you option to use facebook tools, where you can sign up, thus giving your Facebook friends information about the articles you read.

Defense:

      • Delete any social reader application, in case you’ve installed any.
  1. You being tagged on photos or videos can be unpleasant as they might be private for you, but being tagged in images can turn out to be embarrassing in many situations. People who aren’t your friends, but friends of friends may access them and hurt you! Also, the tags make it easier for the other Facebook users to identify you by your name.

Defense:

      • ‘Untag’ yourself from any such image or video that may end up embarrassing you.

      • Enable the feature ‘Review of all future photos you’re tagged in before they appear on your Timeline’.

Facebook is listening to your conversations:

Disable your microphone

Other privacy measures:

  1. Opt out of ad tracking
  2. Avoid logging in to any website or app using your Facebook id and password.
  3. Minimize your time of Facebook usage
  4. The following plug-ins may help:
    • Disconnect and Collusion: Available for Chrome. Prevents 3rd party apps from tracking your activity on web.
    • Do Not Track Plus (DNT+): Identify and block trackers
    • Ghostery: Works on Opera and protects the user’s online privacy by blocking trackers as well as third parties.
  1. Browser settings:
  • Firefox: 
          Go to:
          Tools> Options> Privacy> check the box: “Tell websites I do not want to be tracked.” And set to: “Never save your history”
        Also, remove your browser’s cookies regularly.
  • Chrome:
          Go to:  Preferences> Settings> Advanced Settings> Privacy> Content Settings.
        Check: “Block Third Party Cookies and Site Data.”
  • Safari: Preferences> Security> Accept Cookies. Check “Never.”
  • Internet Explorer 10: Set “Do Not Track” as default.

How does Mark Zukerberg keep his system safe?
One of the image shared by the 32 years old billionaire, Mark Zukerberg- the founder of Facebook, got viral showed his personal Mac Book’s webcam and the microphones on his desk covered with a tape.

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