Deleting Facebook Won’t Protect Your Information, But Doing This Will
This week, news broke that the data analytics company Cambridge Analytica (which worked with the Trump campaign) had illegally mined data from 50 million Facebook users to spread disinformation. As a result, many internet users are decrying the platform, and the hashtag #DeleteFacebook is trending across Twitter, Instagram, and Facebook.
Cambridge Analytica denies its involvement in clandestine political activities. But even if the company hasn’t done anything illegal, Facebook’s connection to Cambridge Analytica is damaging and causing people to delete their accounts.
But here’s the thing: Deleting Facebook isn’t going to change how the site operates. All social media companies generate revenue by selling their users’ information. That’s the way these businesses work.
If you are worried about how Facebook is using and sharing your data, there are steps you can take to keep your info secure.
First and foremost, if you are planning on sticking around, go take a peek at the apps and websites you are logged into using your account, log out of all of them and create email-connected accounts. Although it may seem like a better option, this log in practice actually hands the company all sorts of information that they then store. Use a password keeper to keep track of your accounts going forward and stop using Facebook for sign in, period.
Once you’ve tackled your account’s permissions, you can then go ahead and make sure that any third parties that your friends are signed in with won’t also be getting your information. The Electronic Frontier Foundation has a comprehensive guide on how to do this, but your best bet is to basically uncheck every option for third parties via your contacts.
Next, go back into your account settings and limit exactly what info you are sharing with the company. Remove your birthday, location services, and other tracking options completely. While it might be fun to check into a place, Facebook is simply tracking your movements for future use. So if you’re not okay with it, remove all access to your whereabouts.
If you are still unhappy with Facebook having access to your info, you can delete your account altogether and, if you want, start fresh. Create a dummy email address and build up a limited or restricted access account from scratch. This is tedious but for those truly worried about their data being shared while still wanting to use the site, this could be the answer.
While Facebook faces new scrutiny from government watchdogs in the UK, and Cambridge Analytica has removed its CEO, its likely that positive change is on its way for social media users, whether you keep your Facebook account active or not. But simply deleting your profile can’t undo the information you’ve already given up to the network.
Have you considered deleting your Facebook account? Tell us @BritandCo!
(Photos via William Iven + Chris Jackson/Getty Images + Getty)
Back in January, we introduced you to a feel-good cause to inspire your New Year's resolution: a walking challenge to help raise funds for the amazing cancer fighters at The Leukemia & Lymphoma Society. I took part in the challenge with the Brit + Co team and ended up walking 105+ miles in January — it was awesome.
This spring, there's a new challenge on the horizon, The Leukemia & Lymphoma Society's Big Climb. The ask: On May 15, 2021, you can step up to take cancer down by committing to climb 1,311 steps, walking 3.2 miles, or doing 440 chair step-ups at home as part of the Big Climb. If you need some motivation to bring movement back into your daily routine — look no further!
As always, it's free to sign up, but climbers are encouraged to set a fundraising goal to help beat cancer. We'll be organizing another Brit + Co team to step up, and I hope you'll join us too! Keep scrolling for a peek at where I'll be completing the challenge in my Los Angeles neighborhood around the hidden Silver Lake Stairs. Happy climbing!
Never underestimate the power of an accountability buddy! I asked my in-laws, my partner, and a few friends to join me so we can keep each other motivated and accountable in completing the challenge — virtual high-fives all around! Also, my dog Fox is a great climber, too.
An aesthetically pleasing backdrop is a huge motivator for me! I'm fortunate to have all sorts of painted steps around my neighborhood to keep the challenge interesting, but you can also keep cool inside with at-home chair step-ups.
Don't forget to share your progress on social — #BigClimb!
Feel free to break the challenge up if you need to by tackling half the distance in the AM and half at sunset. Here's me 1,311 steps later and ready for a break — but, think I earned this one!