- Majority of threats made since El Paso and Dayton shootings have been made online Thursday 8:00 PM
- Miley Cyrus tweets about cheating allegations and penis cake drama Thursday 6:32 PM
- ‘The Dark Crystal: Age of Resistance’ dazzles with a timely tale Thursday 6:00 PM
- The DOJ emailed a white nationalist blog post to immigration judges Thursday 5:31 PM
- The Amazon rainforest is on fire–and people are using memes to cope Thursday 4:11 PM
- Microsoft contractors listened in on Xbox users Thursday 2:15 PM
- Anti-vaxxer assaults pro-vaccine lawmaker on Facebook Live (updated) Thursday 2:15 PM
- Oreos licked by singer Lewis Capaldi are being auctioned off on eBay Thursday 1:54 PM
- Zach Braff predicted Sean Spicer would be on ‘Dancing With the Stars’ 2 years ago Thursday 1:38 PM
- NYPD sergeant who watched Eric Garner die punished with lost vacation days Thursday 1:27 PM
- Brie Larson haters have a meltdown over a joke about Thor’s hammer Thursday 1:26 PM
- This comedian attempted to make fun of women on Twitter—and it did not go over well Thursday 1:04 PM
- Logan Paul wants to help the Amazon rainforest Thursday 12:36 PM
- Nutaku announces redesign and filters for LGBTQ porn games (updated) Thursday 12:25 PM
- This video of dozens of inflatable mattresses taking off in the wind is perfect Thursday 12:20 PM
How to stop Facebook from tracking your browsing history
Willing to lose personalized ads? In a heartbeat? Read on.
Last week, Facebook announced that it was going to start tracking our browsing activity. Facebook is claiming that this feature is part of its ad-tailoring program (it also recently introduced a tool that lets you give feedback on ads). Of course, it’s not quite that innocent: Advertisers will pay more for information on what you do outside of Facebook because it will help them target you better inside of Facebook.
Sound good to you? Great, carry on! No? You have some choices, including privacy company Abine’s new DoNotTrackMe tool for Facebook.
“It is crazy for anyone to allow Facebook to collect their browsing history when they’re not even logged into Facebook,” said Abine CEO Rob Shavell, in a press release announcing the technology. “The idea that one company should be trusted to know about our friends and family and then also everything we do online is insane.”
And the scope of Facebook’s tracking ability is greater than you may think. “Our browsing history, which Facebook can only collect because of the many ‘like’ and ‘login’ buttons they have placed on other sites, allows Facebook to connect two critical sets of information about us: ‘Who we are,’ our identity and personal information and social graph; [and] ‘what we do,’ which sites we go to each day, what we do there, and more,” Shavell explained via email.
“You might have ‘nothing to hide,’ but if you have a Facebook account and surf without technology protecting you from this new default on data collection, you will certainly find out,” he says.
DoNotTrackMe shows you all companies that are tracking you, not just Facebook. It’s an easy install for major browsers that you can simply install. And it’s free.
These options all apply to using Facebook via desktop, though. If you’re anything like… most people… you’re using Facebook on your phone. Fortunately, Apple introduced an option recently that allows you limit ad tracking. If you have an iPhone, head to settings and then choose “privacy.” Scroll to the bottom and select “advertising”; flip on “limit ad tracking.” Apple warns you that by doing this, you won’t see fewer ads, but they “may be less relevant because they will not be based on your interest.”
If for some reason this doesn’t feel good enough or you want to go a different route, there are individual apps you can download. Ad Control from Ghostery is available for iOS and Android, as is AVG PrivacyFix.
And of course, if you’re intensely private and paranoid, there is the ultimate solution: deleting Facebook.
Photo via mkhmarketing/Flickr (CC BY 2.0)
Molly McHugh is the tech editor of the Daily Dot, focusing on technology, social media, sports, and streaming entertainment. Her work has also appeared in Wired and the Ringer.