How do I protect my data? It is a question that many of the 2 billion Facebook users are making these days, after knowing the scandal that links the information of 50 million users of the social network with the Cambridge Analytica consultancy. How To secure Facebook Account?
The entity is accused of misusing the data of these users, which were used in 2016 in favor of Donald Trump during the United States elections. Facebook is pointed out for having allowed a third party to access such a potentially sensitive amount of information to influence the electoral campaign.
The truth is that Facebook users continuously give permission to third parties to access our personal information. We do this every time we install an application within the social network, such as a game, one of those tests to know what famous you look like or a personality test (like the one that allowed the filtering of data to Cambridge Analytica).
How to protect your data on Facebook
To prevent these applications from misusing the personal data your Facebook account has, you must limit your permissions in the “Settings” section (in the drop-down menu at the top right) or “Account settings” (in the mobile version, touching on the top right). Before arriving at the applications, it is convenient to stop at the “Privacy” section. There you can manage this aspect at a general level.
But to control access to your data by third parties, you must go to the “Applications” section. Here is a list of the applications that the user has installed in their account. You can delete the ones you want or edit the permissions that each one has. When you click on one of them, a list appears with all the types of data that the application accesses.
There is a more radical solution. At a stroke you can prevent any application from working on your Facebook account. Below the list of applications there is a box for “Applications, websites and plugins”. You only have to click on “Edit” and “Disable Platform”. Of course, you can not use any application within the social network or third-party web services that use your Facebook account to log in.
No less important is to control the information that the applications installed by your friends can get from you. Going down on the page there is another box, “Applications used by other people”. When clicking there is another list of data -as biography, date of birth, current city- that you can mark and unmark according to your preferences.
As a general recommendation, when it comes to accessing an application on Facebook for the first time, it is best to do what is never done and it is always advisable: read the privacy policies. But if we do not, at least we should bother to edit the permissions that we grant, before clicking on “Continue”.
The rest depends on the amount of information – and its sensitivity – that the user is willing to show on Facebook. In a statement , the OCU (Organization of Consumers and Users) reminds that the basic information of your profile is public, like any post, photo or video that you upload with the “Public” configuration (which can be modified next to the button ” To post”).
There are those who bet on a more radical solution: eliminate Facebook. This has been evident during the last days with the #DeleteFAcebook movement , which has been curiously supported by WhatsApp co-founder Brian Acton. Zuckerberg’s company bought WhatsApp in 2014, although Acton stopped working there last year.
How to protect your information from third parties
After logging into Facebook, visit the App setting page. Unclick any category that you don’t want an app to access such as bio, birthday, family, religious views, if you are online, posts on your timeline, activities and interests.
You can go one step further by going to the App setting page and clicking the edit button under Apps, Websites and Plugins and disabling the platform.
Companies, such as Cambridge Analytica, that collect user data to serve commercial or political ads, use big data techniques to refine the shot.
The first thing is the extraction of the data. For that, Cambridge Analytica used the personality test, with which it obtained personal information from 270,000 users. Through them they reached their friends, reaching a total of 50 million. This trampoline can no longer be used, since in 2016 Facebook prevented an application from accessing the user’s friends’ data.