It has come to notice that even the most discreet users of Facebook are giving away more information than they imagined to the social network giant.
By simply selecting the wrong option from one of Facebook’s menus means you are revealing your location to whole world – and you should know that Facebook ‘Likes’ are comparable to minefields.
A research team recently used info from questions answered by about 86,000 people, and when compared it with their FB Likes, they found out this: just 100 FB Likes was more than enough to reveal sensitive info about the user’s personality. Such info could be extremely valuable to advertisers and also to potential employers.
“There is a big dark side of technology,” member of the study group from Stanford, Michael Kosinki, said.
Here are 5 things the largest social networking site knows about your life and what you should do if you’re worried:
1. Facebook knows whether you are straight or gay
A study by University of Cambridge has revealed that it is possible to guess a person’s sexuality, and with a high degree of accuracy, simply by studying their Facebook Likes. By keeping track of your Likes, FB and users can know your sexuality.
If you feel this info is sensitive and you don’t want Facebook to know it, check you Likes page (available on your Activity Log) and quickly remove as many as you can.
2. Facebook knows what places you visited
If you have used ‘Nearby Friends’ feature, you can be sure that Facebook had stored that location you visited by using your smart phone’s GPS or even your Wi-Fi location. It will sent out your approx location to everyone in your Friends list who also uses this feature.
How can you prevent it? You can have the feature disabled from the Settings in your account page. Check out this official manual on how to do that.
3. Facebook knows the person you are stalking
If you are guilty of repeatedly searching for someone’s name, the site will remember the name and store this info. The next time you log in and search for people, Facebook will predict most common searches and show you the names. This can be embarrassing especially if your wife or husband is sitting next to you!
Don’t worry, however, it is now possible to delete this crucial data totally within your FB settings. Simply go to ‘Activity Log’ on your Profile page, select More and then Search. On this page, you will find an option to delete either individual searches, or that of your entire search history.
4. Facebook can tell your boss whether to fire or to promote you
Facebook is like a personality mirror and it can tell your employer whether you are a reliable person.
The social networking site can figure out which personality type you fit into. Most shocking is that this data is easily accessible by anyone.
A team from University of Cambridge, using the info they gathered from a questionnaire filled in by 86,000 users, found that just about 100 Likes was enough to give away sensitive details about user’s personality. This info could be used by employers while screening aspirants for jobs.
5. Facebook knows all the websites you visited
Just like big brother Google, Facebook is storing records of every website you visited and shockingly this is not deleted even when you clear your web browser’s history.
The history is not visible to others or your friends, but Facebook stores this crucial data and uses it to serve ads to you within its platform.
This data can be embarrassing at times. So the best is not to log into Facebook or Google when you want to do private things.
Keep Facebook out of your information
So how can you maintain your privacy and keep Facebook away from your valuable personally identifiable data?
The easiest way to do so is to fill in the false information when setting up new Facebook account.
Another way – always keep an eye on whether you are logged in Facebook, Google, etc. before you can do some real private browsing.
There are browser plugins available to ease your mind. They can check whether you are logged into Facebook or Google before you can privately browse the web.
Check out Click&Clean plugin, for example. It will help you to:
- Delete your browsing data when you close the browser.
- Prevent others to track your internet activity.
- Free up space on your hard drive and speed up your computer.
- Scan your machine for any kinds of malware.
- Test your privacy.
Click&Clean plugin is available for Firefox and Chrome. Download the version which suits you from here: