Facebook apps know a lot about you: Here's how you can change it

Posted at 6:12 PM, Mar 27, 2018
and last updated 2018-03-28 10:08:34-04

"Its free, and unfortunately, that means we’re actually the product, not the customer," said Kevin Hayes, of what he believes Facebook users tend to forget.

As Director of Information Security at Wayne State University, Hayes told 7 Action News, Facebook users are in the dark about the extent to which the site, a strictly ad sponsored platform, is extracting user information for targeted advertising.

7 Action News sat down with the academic to talk about the flourishing concerns in the wake of the revelation that a third party consulting firm, Cambridge Analytica, had accessed and improperly stored troves of Facebook's user data.

It was a reminder that although Facebook is the top social network on the web, making it the best place to connect, it is constantly collecting and allowing access to user information both when we’re on it, and even when we’re off.

So how do we minimize our digital footprint without getting off the site all together?

To limit what’s tracked, Hayes says you should use one browser to do your general online browsing and shopping and another strictly for social media.

And what about those apps? Facebook admits third party apps have access to any info you choose to make public.

To delete apps like this, just click on settings at the top right, head to apps on the left, then click view all, and (x) out the apps you want to remove.

Also, Hayes says you should regularly check your privacy settings, even if you’ve already set them. Facebook frequently changes the options and you want to make sure no additional access was granted without you knowing.