There’s no doubt that social media platforms are invading our privacy. We live in a world where Facebook knows more about us than what we reveal to most people. Facebook is tracking you, and you’re the one that gave it the big thumbs for it. It’s not too late though, you can stop Facebook from tracking you.
How Do You Know Facebook Is Tracking You?
David Soberman, University of Toronto marketing professor, called the process of collecting user information tired and old. This online age is giving retailers and tech companies the advantage to develop sophisticated tools that enable them to target users with online advertisements. Now, companies are provided with detailed personal information about their customers- by their own consent. They use the information they collect to target customers with ads in a highly accurate manner, which can be rather disconcerting.
Regardless of how intrusive the act of collecting data may seem, targeted ads help us shape an idea about the kind of information these companies collect and store. Many Facebook users say that online advertisement has spoiled surprises, getaways, gifts, etc. One could be innocently scrolling through someone’s Facebook only to come across an ad of a product or concert tickets that the other person has already purchased to throw him/her off. It’s safe to say that Facebook ads spoil surprises and takes the thrill away.
How does Facebook Track You?
David Soberman explained that companies build consumer profiles by tracking their online activities. This is possible through cookies and users’ IP addresses. Facebook also makes use of the data you enter like name age and location when creating a profile. Like even though targeted Facebook ads present value to the consumer, it’s still considered a violation of privacy.
How to Stop Facebook from Tracking you
First things first, avoid clicking on the ads that appear while you’re using Facebook. Every ad you open gives Facebook an indication of the kind of targeting that works for you. And you don’t want that to happen.
Andrew Clement, professor in the Faculty of Information at the University of Toronto said: “Blocking ads, clearing cookies, etc., can help a little in protecting privacy online.” But, you’re forgetting an important thing, Facebook is a billion dollar company for a reason. It makes a fortune from selling users’ data to advertisers and any others who want to make use of them for profit.
Tips on How to Stop Facebook Tracking
Major browsers, such as Chrome, Firefox, and Safari, have a private browsing setting, known as incognito. If you use this feature, your browser will ignore cookies, including ad-tracking cookies and will not record your history.
Use a browser plug-in
You can use a browser plug-in to limit data tracking. For instance, Mozilla launched a Firefox browser plug-in, called a Facebook Container, that helps control how much data the social media company can access.
Turn off cookies
There are options to turn off your cookies setting whether you’re using Chrome, Safari or Internet Explorer. For example, in Chrome click “settings,” “show advanced settings” and then click on “content settings.” Once there, you can disable cookies.
Turn Off Your Location
Open the Facebook app on your iPhone or iPad.Tap the More tab in the bottom right corner of the screen. Scroll down and tap Settings. Tap Account Settings. Tap Location. Finally, Turn off the Location History switch.
Change Facebook Settings
To opt out of Facebook showing you targeted ads from other sites, or from seeing Facebook’s ads on other sites, you can alter your FB settings. To do that, follow these steps:
- Open your Facebook page and click “settings,” and then “ads.”
- Next, click on the “ads based on my use of websites and apps” setting.
- Finally, press the “choose setting” button and select “off.”
Many people don’t even realize that they give Facebook permission to track them. Your consent gives Facebook the green light to collect and store information about your interests, likes, and dislikes. And that’s where personalized ads come from. Although there is no 100% guaranteed way to stop Facebook from tracking you, you can at least try by taking the precautions we have listed above.
If you want to take drastic measures, you can always completely delete your Facebook account of course.