What To Do About Facebook?

If you are worried about using Facebook in light of the recent stories of data mining gone mad, you are not alone.

However, while you can and should ditch the platform if you feel uncomfortable about using it, be aware that pretty much every Social Media app does this in one form or another; it's essentially their reason for being. 

Data mining is the name of the game; it feeds the advertisers, and that feeds the app makers. The fact that you get some perceived benefit from using Twitter, Snapchat, Facebook, et al, is almost a happy accident.

Cynical? Yes, but also rather accurate. I have started to think of them as Surveillance Media, rather than Social Media.

If you do want to actually stop using Facebook altogether (and try to stop your data being spread around further), it's not quite as simple or as fast as it could be - but it's do-able, with some persistence and patience:

If you want to continue to use Facebook because you like the basic idea of it, there are a few things you can do to minimize the data you provide, and other security risks:

1) don't involve yourself in the quizzes and polls - that's where a lot of information comes from to "build a profile" of the type of consumer you are

2) don't use your Facebook account to login to other apps, services and websites - that's just offering yourself up to being "tracked"

Here is how to check which sites you may be connecting to and how to remove them:

3) lastly, in a more general sense, put sensible limits on WHAT you post; certainly you can show happy pictures from your latest vacation, but don't announce "Well, our family is leaving tomorrow for a well-earned week's vacation in [exotic foreign country]!" You may as well also say "Why don't you swing by and steal our nice flat screen TV while we are gone!"

No comments :