A Digital Age
We are at a point in our society where more and more information is going digital. Your email, facebook, google searches, cloud storage and online shopping habits are being recorded by the companies you use, both to help serve you better and to help sell you better!
In this article, we talk over the public relation trouble that Facebook has had recently, why they record our data and how to edit your privacy settings to “opt out”.
Starting out from Facebook’s founder Mark Zuckerberg’s dorm room in 2004, Facebook has grown to have 600 million active users. It looms so large in our society that many people who are not on it may suffer from an “information gap”, where they may find themselves out of the loop. Birthdays, Anniversaries, holidays, engagements, babies and community events are all shared on Facebook and it’s a powerful tool for staying in touch.
Although Facebook encourages you to fill out all the details of your profile, they do no put the same focus on informing you about their privacy settings.
The Public Relations Issues

A Company called Cambridge Analytica used a quiz app to scrape data such as users’ identities, their friend networks, and likes from millions of Facebook users.  Facebook has given the users permission to share their data to third-party companies. Users inadvertently gave consent by agreeing to the user conditions in the app that seemed harmless and provided a service but that data was then used to build targeted political ads for Donald Trump’s campaign. 

Changing your privacy settings

It’s important to be aware of your privacy settings of all the software/web accounts you use. These settings govern how your information is shared with other users, with the platform itself and sometimes other businesses.

On Facebook, clicking the small blue down arrow on the top right of the page and selecting “Settings” then “Privacy” brings you to the menu on the right. In these settings, you can modify how other users see your information and which people outside of Facebook can find you.

Your ad preferences

Also from the “Settings” menu, clicking “Ads” on the left-hand side will bring you to the recently updated set of Facebook options where you can tailor which adverts you see, and how Facebook shows you adverts. Although it is impossible to totally opt out of adverts, these options should help you see things more relevant to your interests.

The data scraping applications that used to be rife on Facebook have been drastically clamped down upon since the Senate hearing but they worked by getting users to agree to share their information under the guise of answering a silly question, like what kind personality type are you? Or which Harry Potter Character are you most like?

These apps still exist so it’s important to know that when you allow a company access to your data, they can use it for what they like after that point!

Adverts will always exist on a free platform like Facebook. Even the senators questioning Mark Zuckerberg at the hearing did not all understand that if you are not paying for a product, then likely you are the product. During the hearing, someone even asked Mark how he sustains a business model where users do not pay. He replied simply, Senator we run ads.

If you are having trouble navigating the online space or want to know more, we do teach lessons both one on one and in groups. Please contact us on 250-890-1065 for more!

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