Has your Facebook information been compromised?
By now we have all heard about Facebook and Cambridge Analytica being put under a microscope by congress. CEO Mark Zuckerberg had to endure a 4 hour deposition to answer for all the 87 million users whose information was sold for profit without anyone’s consent. A significant part of the conversation was about defining exactly how consent works when utilizing social media. Basically through Facebook’s third party apps (like quizzes,games etc.) they are able to obtain user information and sell that to companies like Cambridge Analytica. Now all this would be fine and dandy if Facebook users had expressly consented to the distribution of their information, but that was not the case.
As a Facebook user there are two questions that need to be answered: How do I know if my information was sold / mishandled without my consent? How do I keep my information safe moving forward?
First thing is first, click this link and log into your Facebook account to see if your info was actually acquired by Cambridge through the app “This Is Your Digital Life”. If your info was sold you will get a message indicating that Cambridge accessed your account. The good news is that you will most likely be able to participate in the class action suit and receive a nice little settlement (might be a few hundred bucks). If your info is safe then you have nothing to worry about.
Now that we are all blatantly aware of what really goes on behind the closed doors in Silicon Valley, we can take preventative measures to ensure everything stays private. Let’s start with the basics. There are some Facebook settings that need to be reviewed. Unless you want your profile to be as public as google.com, you want to verify that your privacy settings are set to “Friends” or “Only Me”. You can access this setting by clicking on the question mark at the top of your FB home page (right next to the notification button). From there you click settings to get to your privacy section. If you don’t want your information out there for anyone to access, it is essential to set all privacy settings to either “Only Me” or “Friends”. This way only you and the people on your friends list can view your profile. If you still want your friends of friends to be able to search for you, that option is also available.
Once you have gone through all the basic privacy settings we can move onto the real eye opener. If you weren’t sure what apps were integrating with your FB and accessing your information, prepare to be surprised. You will want to click on the “Apps and Websites” link on the left side of your privacy page. From here we can now see all the apps with our info and, specifically, what they have.
Not only do the apps give you the ability to turn off / edit how they collect your info, but they even have the convenient option available for you to contact the app developer to request that they delete all information pertaining to your profile. If we really break it down, why on earth would Candy Crush really need access to your phone number and email? Since we don’t expect any calls or texts from them, it might be wise to greatly limit what they can obtain. It’s best to be as minimalistic as possible. When it comes to giving apps access, remember that less is definitely more.
If you are unsure of how to adjust any of your Facebook profile settings please give us a call immediately so we can assist you @ 844-881-7874
Once all the settings are edited to your privacy preference, we can now rest assured that there should be no further surprises. Now this does not mean that we are completely out of the dark. Remember that this huge information breach came from a little quiz that ran through facebook. We have to continue to be weary of all of the activities done through social media in general. A few essential steps to take:
- Remember to never click on any emails or URL’s that are not from a trusted source.
- Always use an adblocker when browsing so that you are not easily targeted based on your habits.
- Use a VPN whenever your sensitive information is on the line (for banking, online shopping, social media etc.)
Do to all the current privacy breaches we are doing our very best to help all Rush customers. If you don’t have a VPN software to help you remain anonymous while browsing, we can assist. We are offering a huge discount on both of our VPN services for all Mac and Windows users. Give us a call and mention code FacebookPrivacy to get 25% off of any service, including VPN privacy software. More importantly, if you have any questions or concerns about about anything please give us a call so a tech can assist.
Thanks for being a valued Rush Tech Support customer, stay safe!