How to Protect Your Personal Information on Facebook
Whether intentionally or accidentally, we all share a lot of personal information on the Internet. I make an effort to hide a lot of my private data on social media, but a quick skim of my Facebook page reveals where I went to college, hundreds of photos from the past eight years, and my crazy obsession with corgis, among many other things. These are all details that I don't mind sharing with my friends—but I'd rather not share with people I don't know, especially if they're with a company looking to make money off of me.
Luckily, Facebook is responding to security complaints by offering users more control. Before, when you used Facebook Login on your phone to sign in to an app, you had to allow it access to a large chunk of your information. What exactly the developers could see and what they were using that info for was unclear. But over the coming weeks, Facebook is rolling out an updated login page that makes it easier and quicker than ever to protect yourself online. Here are some tips for using the new controls:
Carefully select what details you provide. The new update allows users to pick and choose which information they share with apps. This means you can choose to share your birthday and your likes with that cool new music app, but you don't have to share your friend list. Users can go through different categories of information, picking what to share and what to keep private. Just click "Edit the info you provide" to get started.
Prevent unwanted postings on Facebook. There is now a completely separate page for giving the app permission to post to Facebook on your behalf. I hate spamming my friends with details about what I'm reading, playing, or listening to, so I am always paranoid that these activities will end up on the Newsfeed. Now, I don't have to worry that an app will post without my knowledge, because it's easy to deny the app permission to post or set it so only select groups can see. Now I can go back to listening to that embarrassing pop song on Spotify in peace, knowing that my friends will be none the wiser.
Test out an app with Anonymous Login. This new option will let people login without sharing any personal information. You can decide later if you'd like to share any of your details. Not all developers will choose to offer this service, but keep an eye out for it in the next few months.
Periodically clean out your apps. If you've been using Facebook for many years, there are probably a lot of apps connected to your account. Visit your App Settings to manage permissions and remove old apps you're no longer using.
Want to see some of the new changes in action? Here's a sneak peek:
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