Here are five tips to keep your data private on Facebook

After the revelation that a data company called Cambridge Analytica acquired data from millions of Facebook users without their knowledge, many have raised concerns about just how private the information people put on Facebook is. If you’re worried that data about you might be circulating among companies without your knowledge, here are some steps you can take to maintain your privacy on Facebook.

1. Download your Facebook data

If you’re worried about what data you have floating around out there, Facebook gives users the ability to download a copy of their Facebook data (all of it). Go to your Settings, then, under General Account Settings, select Download a copy of your Facebook data. Click Start My Archive to begin the process. This will give you an archive of all your activity on Facebook, including information you’ve posted, messages you’ve sent, even which ads you’ve clicked on.

2. Change your privacy settings

five ways to boost facebook privacy screen

In your settings, select Privacy. Here, you can control who can see your posts (making them public, or viewable only to friends, for example), as well as who can send you friend requests, look at your friends list, and perhaps most importantly, whether search engines can link to your profile.

3. Change your timeline and tagging settings

In a similar vein, you can determine whether or not people can post on your timeline, tag you in posts, and more. Go to Settings, then click Timeline and Tagging. From here, you can select who should be able to post on your timeline, and who can see those posts. You can also give yourself the option to review posts that people tag you in, so you can choose whether or not that post appears on your timeline.

4. Check/delete apps

According to the New York Times story on how Cambridge Analytica acquired all that user data, the source was an app. Specifically, it was a personality quiz that collected data on users and their friends. The person who built the app then gave that data to the analytics company.

Facebook apps often ask users for access to a variety of things, and as this incident shows, giving apps access to your data may cause problems later. Luckily, you can easily review all the apps you’ve used and delete them. In your settings, select Apps. You will see each and every app linked to your account. Next to each app, you can click Edit Settings to see what permissions the app has, and you can click Remove to get rid of the app entirely.

5. Get off Facebook

No matter how careful you are on social media platforms, there’s always a chance something will slip through the cracks. The best way to keep your privacy on Facebook might be to simply not be on Facebook at all. You can choose to deactivate your account from your Settings, although this will merely leave your profile dormant; the data Facebook has will remain, and you can always reactivate the account. To truly delete your account — and all your data associated with it — follow our step by step instructions to delete your Facebook account.

Social Media

Nearly 75 percent of U.S. users don’t realize Facebook tracks their interests

Did you know Facebook tracks your interests, including political and multicultural affiliations? According to a recent Pew study, 74 percent of adult users in the U.S. have no idea Facebook keeps a running list of your interests.
Social Media

Here’s how to save someone’s Instagram Story to your phone

Curious about how to save someone's Instagram Story to your phone? Lucky for you, it can be done -- but it does take a few extra steps. Here's what you need to know to save Instagram Stories on both iOS and Android.
Computing

Delete tracking cookies from your system by following these quick steps

Cookies are useful when it comes to saving your login credentials and other data, but they can also be used by advertisers to track your browsing habits across multiple sites. Here's how to clear cookies in the major browsers.
Social Media

Invite your friends — Facebook Events can now be shared to Stories

Facebook is testing a way to make plans with friends to attend an event -- through Stories. By sharing an event in Facebook Stories, users can message other friends interested in the event to make plans to attend together.
Social Media

Instagram now lets you post to multiple accounts in one tap

Instagram for iPhone now lets you post to multiple accounts at the same time. It's not the regram feature that many users have been asking for, but it could prove useful for some users who manage more than one profile.
Social Media

No yolk! A photo of an egg has become the most-liked post on Instagram

Until this weekend, the most-liked post on Instagram was of Kylie Jenner's baby daughter, which has around 18 million likes. It's now been knocked off the top spot not by a stunning sunset or even a cute cat, but by an egg.
Social Media

A quick swipe will soon let you keep bingeing YouTube on mobile devices

The YouTube mobile app has a new, faster way to browse: Swiping. Once the update rolls out, users can swipe to go to the next (or previous) video in the recommended list, even while viewing in full screen.
Photography

Starting your very own vlog? Here are the best cameras to buy

Any camera that shoots video can be used to vlog, but a few models stand out from the crowd thanks to superior image quality, ergonomics, and usability. When it comes to putting your life on YouTube, here are the best cameras for the job.
Social Media

Twitter extends its new timeline feature to Android users

Twitter users with an Android device can now quickly switch between an algorithm-generated timeline and one that shows the most recent tweets first. The new feature landed for iPhone users last month.
Social Media

YouTube to crack down on dangerous stunts like the ‘Bird Box’ challenge

YouTube already bans content showing dangerous activities, but new rules published by the site go into greater detail regarding potentially harmful challenges and pranks, including certain blindfold- or laundry detergent-based stunts.
Mobile

It’s back! Here’s how to switch to Twitter’s reverse chronological feed

Twitter has finally brought back the reverse chronological feed, allowing you to see your feed based on the newest tweets, rather than using Twitter's algorithm that shows what it thinks you want to see. It's easy to switch.
Social Media

Nearly a million Facebook users followed these fake Russian accounts

Facebook purged two separate groups behind more than 500 fake accounts with Russian ties. One group had ties to Russian news agency Sputnik, while the other had behavior similar to the Internet Research Agency's midterm actions.
Social Media

Twitter suffers privacy scare as bug reveals tweets of protected accounts

If you set your Twitter account to private and you have an Android device, you'd better check your settings now. Twitter says it's just fixed a four-year-old bug that flipped the privacy switch to make the account public.