Facebook earns most of its billions from advertisers who get information from every “like,” news story click, status update and photo caption users put on the social media site. These translate to customized ads on users’ newsfeeds.
While it is not a secret that Facebook collects every piece of information a user provides, not many are aware that opting out of such tracking is very doable.
To do away with the targeted ads, all you need to do is find the “Ads” settings.
1. First, look for the black arrow (pointing down) icon on the upper right-most part of the screen.
2. From the drop-down menu, click on Settings. The general Settings menu will then pop-up, giving you access to more advanced controls for your account.
3. Locate the “Ads” settings and press click.The first menu option, “Ads based on my use of websites and apps,” controls the advertisements you get based on your activity on the web (yes, Facebook tracks you even outside its app by using cookies stored in your browsers).
4. Opt out simply by choosing “Off” after clicking the Choose Setting drop down menu. Facebook notes: “You’ll still see the same number of ads, but they may be less relevant to you. You may also see ads based on things you do on Facebook.”
5. To properly manage how your provided “personal information” is used by Facebook, stay on the same page and click on the next menu option, “Ads with my social interactions.” This basically controls how your name and other information are used by Facebook in promoting ads to your network of friends. If you don’t want a sponsored page bearing your name in its promotions, click the edit option and from the menu “Include my social actions with ads for” choose “no one at all.”
6. Finally, the menu option “Ads based on my preferences” controls your chosen interests (books, music, etc.) and other liked preferences that Facebook uses so it can direct ads at you. When you click “edit” for this menu option, you will be offered choices on which services you want to keep. You may also simply just remove all of them.
Opting out from the tracking does not remove the ads altogether, but they won’t be targeted based on your information, interactions and online activity.
Aside from Facebook itself, every other app that you “allow” to forgo certain privacy restrictions to be able to use its service may also be collecting data without you realizing it.
1. To restrict apps from collecting your Facebook data, go to the Privacy Shortcuts menu (padlock icon) found on the upper right part of the screen and pick “See More Settings” or “Privacy Checkup.”
2. Choose “Apps” to pull up all apps that you’ve given access to your Facebook account over time. Go over individual apps to either remove the app or edit its settings.
3. After going through the apps, you may also want to check out “Apps Others Use.” This option provides the information that your friends take with them when they use apps. You can disallow previously provided access by unchecking the boxes for any information that you’d rather not share.
Once you have completed all these steps, your Facebook should be more private and a lot safer from businesses and other prying marketer eyes.