You may have seen in the news recently that Facebook has come under fire for letting Cambridge Analytica harvest user’s data without their permission. The scary thing is that you may have been caught up in this without knowing, as users downloading apps have ‘allowed’ the app to gain data from their friends as well as themselves. If you are still unsure if you have allowed an app permission, think back to the last time you did a ‘personality quiz’ or ‘what will my face look like in 30 years’ and to get your result the app asked to have permission to see your info? Well if you clicked yes to that, your data may have been harvested.
Now it’s a bit scary knowing that information about you could have been used without your permission. So what can you do about it? Well some people are calling for everyone to delete Facebook completely. However of you don’t want to something that radical then you can always check your privacy settings. We will show you how to do both.
How to delete your Facebook account
If you are a frequent Facebook user then you have probably used it to log in to other apps and services, which will be affected once you delete your account. First thing to do is figure out what apps you have connected to Facebook; you can do this by going to Settings then Apps, then make a list of the apps and websites that you will still want to use after you delete your account. You will need to log in to each of these apps, and visit their settings page and find the option is disconnect from Facebook. Each of the settings will be different in each app or website, so you may have to do a little more research on each app or website to be able to disconnect it from Facebook.
Secondly it may be worth downloading and saving all the pictures and videos you have ever posted to Facebook. You can do this on the desktop version of Facebook by heading to Settings and on the first page, there should be an option to Download a copy of your Facebook data. Once you’ve followed the instructions Facebook will then send you an email containing a downloadable file.
Now the big decisions really come in, you have two options when it comes to quitting Facebook;
- Permanently delete your account
- Deactivate your account
Now permanently deleting your account is IRREVERSIBLE. All your data including; photos, videos, friends, apps, games and like will be erased. Your profile will no longer exist, and if you have a change of heart and want back in, you will need to sign up for Facebook as a new user.
You can ‘deactivate your account’ which is a less permanent. This essentially freezes your account, meaning you can restore it to the same state, if you are sucked back in to the Facebook world. With this option you can also still use Facebook messenger.
If you are worried about your data being used then your best option is to permanently delete your account. Facebook will try and stop you from quitting, but if you are determined then just keep going! Just go to this page to start the process.
Changing or modifying App settings on Facebook
If deleting your whole account is a bit too radical for you, then you can delete or modify any apps that are linked to your account. You can access these by going to Settings and selecting the Apps. You can hover over the app that you want to delete or modify and either click delete or edit. If you want to delete the app…press delete. However if you want to review the settings for the app and make any changes you feel are needed you need to click edit. You can change who can see that you use this app, as well as who can see any posts that the app makes on your behalf. Scroll down the screen further, and you may be able to turn off other settings, such as whether the app can post certain information on your behalf. Make sure you click save after you’ve made the changes. Annoyingly the only way you can make sure that the app deletes any information about you they already have, is to send an email or visit their website, depending on which app you are dealing with.
What to do next….
Hopefully you can now feel a little more secure with your information on Facebook; however it is still not recommended that you have any personal information posted publicly. Make sure there are never any pictures with your address, date of birth or bank details posted to any social media and you should never share bank details with people you don’t know over social media. For more information on the Facebook data breach mentioned in this blog then please visit the BBC page