All Your Friends and All Your Privacy

Who has the time to sit and read all of that fine print when you set up a new social media account? If you have time after your account is set up, do you know how to find the privacy policy? I can tell you from my own experience it is easier to just google search, “Facebook privacy policy” then it is to go directly through Facebooks and randomly click on tabs to see if you can find it.
So great, you have time and are now reading the privacy policy. You read a few things that catch your eye like photo privacy, comments, profile, etc. You find that your profile is completely open to a completely new level of exposure to the public realm. Facebook has some fine print that can really get you on the edge of publishing information about yourself, for instance,” Certain categories of information such as your name, profile photo, list of friends and pages you are a fan of, gender, and networks you belong to are considered publicly available, and therefore do not have privacy settings.” Yes, that is right! You might want to reconsider the things that you like on Facebook; not only does it reveal your personal information, but it also helps advertisers target you more effectively.
On that note, have you noticed that the ads on Facebook tend to be directed toward you? You are not imagining things, this is actually something that is tailored for you. In an excerpt from their Facebook policy it states, “We occasionally pair advertisements we serve with relevant information we have about you and your friends to make advertisements more interesting and more tailored to you and your friends.” This is definitely a little concerning, but there are many ways to limit this ad tracking, you can go to Digital Advertising Alliance, but you will first need to disable cookies and/or ad blocker. Once you click on the Digital Advertising Alliance, you can click on the “Companies Customizing Ads for Your Browser,” then scroll down until you see Facebook and click on it. This will prevent ads from being tailored toward your social media trends. If you want more information about how to protect your identity on social media platforms, message me and I will help you protect yourself as much as possible.
In summary, I find that the privacy policy has a tendency to be long and legalesed on purpose. Go ahead and call me a conspiracy theorist, but in all honesty, the things that can really leave you exposed should be something highlighted and easily understood. Lastly, I think that it is extremely helpful to google, “Facebook privacy policy facts,” and then you can find some extremely helpful information to protect yourself on a new level.
Here is one last thing that I can help you with to check to see if someone else is using your Facebook pictures (or any pictures that have been posted to the internet) and if anyone of your pictures is visible to the public. First you need a picture(s) and either Google Image Search or Tineye open. Right click on your picture from Facebook or other social media platforms and click “Copy image URL” (Google) or “Copy link location” (Firefox).  The last step is to open Google image search and look for the camera icon on the search bar, click it, and paste your picture URL in the space and hit enter. In addition, it is important to note that you may want to click on “All sizes” as this will widen the search for your pictures.
I did this and found some high school boy was using my picture as his Facebook profile picture. This is a very effective tool to protect you, as well as deterring fraud.



Facebook’s full Privacy Policy: Link

Facebook’s Privacy Policy Facts: Link