[UPDATED]: Are You On Facebook? Is Your Data At Risk?

Facebook revealed that Cambridge Analytica data firm has been collecting not only user data without permission, but also the data of their friends. Facebook claims to have dealt with this fraudulent data scam in 2014, but evidence proves little was done to ensure it had actually been deleted. You can see what Zuckerberg himself had to say below. 

I want to share an update on the Cambridge Analytica situation — including the steps we've already taken and our next…

Posted by Mark Zuckerberg on Wednesday, March 21, 2018

This data was originally used for targeted political ad campaigns, but could be exposed to many other third parties. It has now been revealed that an estimated 87 million users had their data exploited. Facebook claims the “fixes” will take years to resolve.

You may not be aware, but Facebook is collecting data beyond what you use in the website/app.

  • Facebook collects contact information from your phone. This includes information from address books, to call and text logs! Users need to choose to “upload, sync, or import” to the app. This is a service that is designed to help users connect with others. Upon downloading the Facebook phone app, users are often unaware of the terms they are agreeing to. 
  • Instagram and Whatsapp share data with Facebook. Not only is your data shared with any apps directly connected to your Facebook account, but Facebook owns Instagram and Whatsapp as well. The privacy policies are separate, but essentially the same terms apply.

With these recent events, is it time to delete your Facebook account completely? You can delete your Facebook account by clicking here, ensure you download a copy of your Facebook data before deleting your account completely. Or if you’re not ready to part with it just yet, here are a few tips to staying safe across all social media platforms.

  1. Check your privacy settings – disable public posts, restrict your search settings, and setup login approval on your mobile device to better secure your Facebook account.
  2. Check your apps know which apps you’ve connected to your Facebook account and what information they’re sharing.
  3. Consider turning off API sharing – this disables all platforms apps as well as the ability to sign in to other sites using Facebook.
  4. Disable geotagging and location tracking – this should be done within your applications and your mobile device.
  5. Beware that your photos store EXIF (Exchange Image File) info
  6. Take conscious photos – the background can reveal a lot of personal information.