by Graham Pierrepoint
With news circulating regarding up to a potential 50 million Facebook users’ personal data having been shared with a political consultancy aiding with the Trump election campaign in 2016, it seems that there’s never been a better time to start thinking about checking out all of the apps you may be using on the social network. If anything, it should be a wakeup call to those of us who have used several apps, games and quiz services over the years – as many may come with terms and conditions that could have led to our sensitive information being leased out from underneath our noses. But what’s the best way to block apps that may be tracking you and your data – when you don’t want them to? While Facebook does anonymize data accessed through apps, you may still want to curb any data collection that takes place.
Watch: ▶ Protect your data without deleting Facebook account
To start, the best thing to do is head for ‘settings’, and then ‘apps’. How you get to this through mobile devices and apps will differ – but through the desktop site, click the arrow pointing downwards on the upper right and find ‘settings’ in the drop down menu. You’ll then find ‘apps’ in a column on the left on the next page.
Once there, you’ll be presented with a full list of every service, app and platform that has access to your Facebook profile and data. You may well have no issue with many of these services having access – the ‘login with Facebook’ option that appears for many apps and services these days has provided pretty convenient – but if you’re interested in cutting back on access, click ‘show all’. You can then hover over each of the apps listed and either edit the permissions they have and the data they receive – or you can revoke their access entirely.
Scroll down further and you’ll find three panels to help you manage your profile on the web in a little more detail – from here, however, we suggest you look at ‘apps others use’. Click on this and you can manage how your data is being shared through other apps by your linked friends. That’s right – your friends may even be sharing your data, albeit anonymously, through their app usage!
The current Facebook scandal is posing plenty of questions – but if you’re concerned about your privacy and the way that your data is being used, it’s high time to start taking full control again.