Are you a Facebook user and worried about your data privacy? If yes, you do not have to worry, as this article will help you keep your data safe while using your favorite application. No one likes having their sensitive personal information collected, monitored, and tracked. It happens when we share on social media, shop online, or use our mobile devices. However, we hand over most of this information to Facebook, Instagram, Google, and Amazon. The only way to protect our online privacy is to withhold as much personal information as possible. We can even take a few precautions to prevent ourselves. Let us understand how Facebook can spy on us and how we can avoid it.
How can Facebook spy on us, and How can we prevent it?
Privacy is paramount, it doesn’t matter which app or software you use. For instance, if the HR department plans to use a payroll generator for paystub management, pay attention to the importance of privacy. These are a few methods of how Facebook spies on us.
You can prevent iOS and Android devices from accessing the features or services on your devices through microphones. Let’s see how you can do so!
- Go to Settings > Installed Apps > Facebook > Permissions > Microphone on Android. Turn the microphone Off.
- IOS devices, Go to Settings > Privacy > Microphone, then Facebook, and turn it off.
- Also note that you can also turn off the permissions for Calendars, Cameras, Media, etc.
You must know that Facebook tracks your location. Hence, when you upload photos, it shows your location automatically, which you can click on to include with your post. You can prevent this as well.
- On Android devices, go to Settings > Installed Apps > Facebook, then Permissions, and turn the slider next to Location to Off.
- On iOS devices, go to Settings > Privacy > Location Services > Facebook > Never.
Off-facebook online web habits:
Facebook tracks you even when you are not using the app or the website. Facebook uses “Pixels” to gather information about your visits and actions on other websites. For example, if you visit website X and do not buy any products but click on one, Facebook knows. Even when you add something to your cart but don’t purchase it, Facebook can track that. The advertisers can then target those specified individuals according to their actions. You can stop Facebook from using your pixels to target you. You need to follow the below steps.
- Go to the Facebook app, click on Settings > Ad Preferences > Ad Settings > and turn off “Interest-Based Ads.” If you don’t see this option, select “Ads based on Data from Partners” and deactivate it.
- You can even use Addons like Ghostery to check the trackers running on websites and let you disable them.
Purchases made offline:
If you think you’re only tracked online, you’re wrong. We enter our E-mail ID, name, and number when we purchase something to redeem or increase our loyalty points. Facebook can access the payment processors’ data and know exactly what is in your bag. It can then use this data to show related products in the ads. Now, how do you prevent it? Considering how it is not directly linked to Facebook, there’s no button you can click to stop this from happening. A simple way out would be to stop using Loyalty cards and link them to an E-mail ID or cell number that isn’t associated with your Facebook account. Even then, Facebook can link those purchases to you, but it should give you some room.
Tracking Calls, Texts, and Contacts:
It is another method in which Facebook tracks the personal details of your life. When you first launch Facebook, it takes permission to access your contacts, and most people click yes. This gives Facebook access to every contact in your list and permission to auto-check the list for new contacts. It also tracks call and text details, the duration of the call, the time the call was made, etc. However, it doesn’t record or access the call/text itself. It means it doesn’t have access to “What” you talk about, and only the details of the call/text are stored. You can prevent this by taking the following mentioned steps.
- On Android Devices, go to Settings > Installed Apps > Facebook, then Permissions > and turn the slider next to “Contacts” to off.
- Then go to the Facebook App > Settings > Contacts Uploading and turn off the auto-uploading.
- You can also turn the “Calls and Text history uploading” off.
The facial recognition algorithm of Facebook is one of the best in the world. Facebook uses this to know who is in a picture without anyone mentioning that person. However, turning this off is easy: start Facebook > go to Settings > Facial Recognition >, and turn the slider off.
Facebook may disable some accounts on various grounds and ask for personal documents, such as a Driver’s license, social security number, and Voter ID, to unlock the account. This means Facebook would get details of your real-life identity. However, you can stop Facebook from getting those details by:
- Be extremely careful not to post violent, illegal posts so that the account doesn’t get banned.
- If it does get banned, try to forget the account and start a new one rather than renewing those documents.
Spying on you on PC:
You can prevent this by using the below-mentioned methods.
Use Separate, Anonymous Browsers:
- Facebook can track you, even when you’re on other tabs and websites and if you’re signed out of your Facebook accounts. The simplest way out of this is to use a different, clean browser on which you’ve never used Facebook.
- Tor browser: It is a browser that uses highly advanced methods to keep you anonymous and your activities private.
Opt-Out of Interest-Based Ads:
- Facebook allows us to opt out of its “Interest-based ads.” Hence, your interests will be less vital to Facebook, and fewer trackers for you.
- You can follow these steps to stop Facebook from getting your cookie data.
- On Google Chrome, go to Settings > Content Settings > Cookies > and enable the “Block third-party cookies”.
Avoid signing up with a Facebook account on third-party websites:
You must avoid signing up with Facebook on third-party websites, as it exposes us to many vulnerabilities. If you do this, Facebook can track you; even the third-party website you signed up for can track you.
Use a VPN
You must start using a VPN. It would offer you an additional IP address, hide your location, and even encrypt your internet traffic. A few VPNs that you can use:
You must know that VPNs aren’t very effective against Facebook tracking, as the VPN can only change your IP address. However, you can prevent tracking by using separate browsers for browsing Facebook and other activities. If you want complete privacy, you should use a VPN + TOR for accessing the web Facebook, and using a clearnet browser is the best possible option. If you do this, there are a few ways Facebook can link your Clearnet activities to your account or even your IP address.
You can take action to protect your data to a great extent. Eventually, data safety is vital for each one of us.