How to Use Facebook With Peace of Mind

How to Use Facebook With Peace of Mind

Facebook isn’t the social phenomenon it was a decade ago. Yet, it remains a vibrant and highly relevant platform with billions of users. We’re encouraged to express ourselves, form new connections, and contribute to online discussions without accounting for the impact such interactions have on the privacy and security of our data.

Some people choose to leave Facebook altogether over this. However, you can undertake several less drastic measures to remain active yet exercise much more control over your presence and exposure. We go through them in more detail below.

Understanding Your Digital Footprint on Facebook

Every like, comment, and share you make on Facebook paints a picture of who you are. Behind the scenes, sophisticated data science algorithms work tirelessly to analyze this vast amount of user-generated content, helping Facebook not only to personalize your news feed but also to target advertisements more effectively. 

This isn’t just for showing you posts you’ll like but also for ads that catch your eye. It’s like Facebook’s way of reading your mind through your clicks. So, when you’re scrolling and interacting, remember you’re also sharing a bit of yourself. It’s good to think about what you really want to share and who you’re sharing it with.

Make Your Account Private

Keeping your account public isn’t a good idea for several reasons. It means anyone can look up your personal information, find out who your friends are, and track your Facebook activity without interacting with you. Setting your account to private will restrict its public and off-platform visibility and ensure only friends see the content you post.

Secure Your Password

Your Facebook account stores a wealth of personally identifiable information, even if you are privacy conscious. You’ll want to ensure its security by using a unique and complex password. You should do the same for all your login details.

The most straightforward and effective way is to use a password manager. They instantly generate complex replacements for existing passwords and store them inside encrypted vaults for greater protection. Cross-platform support is another handy feature that lets you use the same password manager for Windows OS, Android, or even iOS with seamless access to all your protected credentials.

Activate Two-Factor Authentication

Facebook was the target of several data breaches and leaks in the past. Even the most complex password won’t be relevant if such a cyberattack exposes it. Your best bet is to follow strong password creation with two-factor authentication. That will prevent logins from new locations unless you present another code alongside the password.

You can set 2FA up through your password manager or turn it on through Facebook’s Security Checkup feature.

Limit what Others See in the About Section

The ‘About’ part of your profile lists core information like your workplace, education, or even the email address you signed up with. Going private will limit information visibility to friends only. It’s still a good idea to keep this section as brief and vague as possible.

Know Who Your Friends Are

By default, Facebook friends enjoy access to our timelines, photos, and other sensitive information. It’s the same for your real-world loved ones and that stranger whose request you accept whenever. It’s wise to regularly prune your friends list to remove people you don’t recognize or aren’t in contact with anymore.

Also, make it harder for strangers and the thousands of scammers that haunt the platform to befriend you. Do this by limiting future requests to friends of existing friends only.

Opt-Out of Ad Personalization

Everything you post, like, or comment on helps Facebook and its partners construct a profile of your interests and desires. They use this data to determine which ads to display, as you’re more likely to respond positively to ads of and purchase things you’re passionate about.

It’s impossible to get rid of ads unless you’re in the EU and start paying a monthly subscription. However, you can review which categories of ads Facebook displays and keep friends from seeing ad posts you interact with.

Take Stock of Connected Services

Many websites and apps let you bypass account registration by logging in through Facebook. While convenient, this also gives these third parties access to information like your friends list and public post history.

Think twice before using this login method, review the permissions they request, and regularly disconnect apps and services you no longer use.

Conclusion

Facebook has made strides to improve user privacy and the transparency of its policies. Tweaking the right account and privacy settings will get you far and make your experience more enjoyable.

However, you should also use common sense and keep the information you share to a minimum so neither Facebook nor unscrupulous people can exploit it. Take care of your online privacy and help others do the same!

Rajat Garg
Rajat Garg
Rajat is a digital marketing specialist with more than 8 years of experience. Here at SocialAppsHQ, Rajat helps to manage social media campaigns for businesses all over the world and share valuable content through blogging.

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