Facebook can’t seem to stay out of the news these days. It’s been one bombshell report after another, from letting political consultancy Cambridge Analytica access users’ info to the recent revelation that Facebook allowed Spotify and Netflix to read private messages.
While these egregious data and privacy issues has started the push to #deleteFacebook, most of its 2.27 billion users are still blissfully posting holiday photos. Leaving the world’s largest social network — the de facto yellow pages — isn’t an option for those who relish being found and staying in touch for personal and professional reasons.
Giving up Facebook can mean giving up a lot of opportunities, so it’s all about using the platform to your advantage — not theirs.
It’s best to limit the amount of personal information that you post. Facebook’s addictive interface and algorithms have encouraged us all to share so much about ourselves that they have become extremely rich off our voluntarily given data.
We’ve also grown accustomed to telling our Facebook “friends” more about our private business than ever before, so pause next time before hitting share and decide if that’s really how you want to present yourself to the odd mix of IRL friends, acquaintances and high school classmates you haven’t seen in more than 20 years. Every time you create a post, you have the option to make it visible to the public, only to your friends, or only to certain friends. You can change the visibility settings on existing posts as well.
While posting is a (hopefully) conscious act, you may be giving out your Facebook data unknowingly. It’s often easiest to sign up for new websites and apps with your Facebook profile, and then you’ll end up giving them access to personal info. Look in “Apps and Websites” in your settings to figure out who may seeing what.
The latest shocker focused on Facebook’s messaging function. While this could tempt some to swear off the Messenger app, they would be missing out on some pretty cool features like stickers, GIFs and video. Always be sure you know who you’re really talking to and that you’re not fooled by a spoof account. Don’t include confidential information in your messages, and for an extra layer of protection, you can send a “secret” encrypted message that will disappear in a set amount time of your choosing.