Facebook privacy settings 2020: Make these 5 changes to protect your data

Even if you love Facebook, you probably have some concerns over your privacy and what the social media giant is doing with your personal information. Facebook has spent more time than most social media platforms in the spotlight for security and privacy issues.

The good news is that you don’t have to delete your profile to protect your data. There are several steps you can take to protect your privacy while still enjoying the platform. Here are five Facebook privacy settings you need to change now.

Note – all these changes can be made in the main menu under “Settings & Privacy”.

1. Change your basic privacy settings

Click the “Privacy” section and browse through the associated eight sections. Choose who can see your future posts. The options include:

  • Public
  • Friends
  • Friends except…
  • Specific friends…
  • Only me

You can also choose whether you want past posts public or private. Then, decide if you want to limit who can see the people, Pages, and lists you follow. Finally, decide who can send you friend requests, see your list of friends, look you up using an email address or phone number, and if you want search engines outside of the platform to link to your profile.

Besides keeping your information private to others on the platform, you should also think about what information you share with the platform itself. Facebook tracks your activity, like websites you visit, even when you are not on the platform. In the latest version, you can stop being tracked by going to the Settings -> Your Facebook Information-> Off-Facebook ActivityYou will see an option to Manage Your Off-Facebook Activity and here you can switch the “Future off-Facebook activity” to OFF. You will be warned that by turning this feature off you might have a less personalized experience while using Facebook as the platform will no longer be collecting information about your other online activities. Mainly this will affect the relevancy of ads you are shown but it may also include suggested events and posts. More privacy for less personalized ads seems like a fair trade off to us, but you can decide for yourself.  

2. Turn off facial recognition

Beneath “Privacy” settings, click on the “Facial recognition” option. This Facebook privacy setting has gone through many changes but still warrants attention. If a friend posts a picture or video with you in it and Facebook recognizes you, you could find yourself tagged in content you didn’t approve of. Turning this option off will prevent Facebook from recognizing you in digital media uploads.

3. Keep location data private

In this section, you can adjust your device’s settings and those of Facebook. Some users enjoy location services as it helps them find local hotspots or share their location through posts for friends to enjoy. If this is something you prefer, then allow your device to use location services while using the Facebook app. But if you would prefer Facebook doesn’t build a history of your locations received through location services on your phone or device, turn this option off.

4. Check your apps and websites permissions

This is an important privacy section to check and modify as needed. First, edit your settings under “Logged in with Facebook”. Any listed apps can request your information. Go through any active apps or websites and remove them if you don’t want to share information.

Once you remove them, you have the option to delete all posts, photos, and videos on Facebook that the app may have published on your behalf. You can also change your preferences regarding Facebook logins. If you turn your preference to off, you’ll no longer be able to log into other apps or websites using your Facebook login. This is recommended as using Facebook login credentials on other sites can leave you vulnerable to hackers and data leaks.

5. Plan your legacy

Have you put any thought into what will happen to your social media accounts and associated data when you pass away? Unfortunately, it comes with the responsibility of using social media.

Facebook privacy settings allow you to decide what happens to your account after your death. This helps protect your information and legacy after you can no longer monitor your profile. Head to “Memorialization Settings” and either choose a legacy contact, who can manage posts, respond to new friend requests, and update your profile picture, or choose to have your account deleted after your death.

It’s possible to enjoy Facebook without putting your privacy at risk. Stay vigilant and take action should you notice any suspicious activity and pay attention to announcements regarding new or updated Facebook privacy settings. When it comes to staying safe online, you’re your own best advocate. And if you think your Facebook account might have been compromised, read our blog post on how to check if your account was hacked.

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