CNN

Fed up with Facebook? Here’s how to protect your data

Mar 20, 2018, 4:30 PM | Updated: Jun 7, 2022, 3:59 pm
Your personal information is Facebook's currency. It's bought and sold every day....
Your personal information is Facebook's currency. It's bought and sold every day.

(CNN Money) — Is it time to delete your Facebook account?

That’s the question many of its users are asking in light of revelations that data firm Cambridge Analytica accessed and improperly stored information from millions of users.

The hashtag #DeleteFacebook was trending on Twitter in wake of the news.

“If you’re angry about what Facebook has done with our data then just #deletefacebook,” wrote one user on Twitter. “Remember we aren’t the customers we are the product.”

While deleting Facebook seems like an obvious option, there are other things you can do to protect your information.

Here’s everything you need to know about how to better control what’s shared on Facebook:

How to (mostly) stop Facebook from sharing your data

Deleting or deactivating Facebook isn’t an option for everyone — you may not want to give up staying in touch with family and friends or participating in support groups.

But you may be surprised how many apps like Airbnb or Venmo you’ve logged into through the social network over the years. Services make it easy to log in with Facebook rather than requiring a separate username and password.

This raises concern because users may not realize how much those third-party apps gain access to your personal data.

To do some spring cleaning, you’ll want to visit Facebook’s App page under the Settings menu to see how many apps you have connected to your account. You can select which services you want to remove at the top of the page or disable all of them via Apps, Website and Plugins > Edit.

However, you won’t be able to log into apps like Instagram or Spotify using your Facebook account anymore. Instead, you’ll need to sign up for the service directly with a unique log in.

Keep in mind apps you’ve already installed could still have your shared information even after disabling the feature. You’ll have to contact the app individually and ask for your data to be removed. Facebook doesn’t give instructions on how to best reach out the app.

Another thing you may not know: People on Facebook who can see your information can bring it with them when they use apps such as games. By selecting Settings > Apps > Apps Others Use, uncheck the boxes you don’t want those apps to access, such as your birthday, hometown, and political views.

How to delete or deactive your Facebook

Another way to protect your personal data is to permanently delete your account.

Facebook has a dedicated page to walk you through the steps. But you won’t be able to reactive your account or access any of the content or information you’ve shared, if you change your mind.

The process of wiping the associated data also takes a bit of time.

“It may take up to 90 days from the beginning of the deletion process to delete all of the things you’ve posted, like your photos, status updates or other data stored in backup systems. While we are deleting this information, it is inaccessible to other people using Facebook,” the company says in its Help Center page.

It’s unclear whether third-party apps will still have access to the data after your account has been permanently deleted.

Facebook users can also opt to deactivate accounts in case they want to access them again. The deactivation option can be found in the Settings menu under Manage Account > Edit.

A disabled profile scrubs names and photos from Facebook, but some information could still be seen by other users, such as in messages previously sent.

If you’re afraid of losing content you’ve posted on Facebook over the years, such as photos or statuses, you can preserve it via Settings > General > Download a copy of your Facebook data.

The-CNN-Wire
™ & © 2018 Cable News Network, Inc., a Time Warner Company. All rights reserved.

KSL 5 TV Live

Top Stories

CNN

Chick-fil-A is selling merchandise for the first-time ever. (CNN)...
Jordan Valinsky, CNN Business

Chick-fil-A is selling merchandise for the first time ever

If your holiday wish list includes a Chick-fil-A sauce-themed blanket or a chicken nugget pillow, look no further.
10 hours ago
Cecily Aguilar pleaded guilty to being involved in covering up the death of Army Spc. Vanessa Guill...
Joe Sutton, Matt Phillips and Amir Vera, CNN

Cecily Aguilar pleads guilty in connection with death of Fort Hood soldier Vanessa Guillen

Cecily Aguilar, who was arrested in 2020 in connection with the disappearance of Army Spc. Vanessa Guillen, pleaded guilty Tuesday to being involved in the cover-up of her death, according to CNN affiliate KWTX and an attorney for Guillen's family.
1 day ago
The download page for ByteDance Ltd.'s TikTok app is arranged for a photograph on a smartphone in S...
Stella Chan and Leslie Perrot, CNN

South Dakota governor bans state employees from using TikTok on government devices

South Dakota's governor signed an executive order on Tuesday banning state agencies, employees and contractors from accessing TikTok on government devices
1 day ago
Kilauea volcano...
Amir Vera, Holly Yan and Elizabeth Wolfe, CNN

2 new lava flows cascade down Hawaii’s Mauna Loa volcano

The rare sight of two neighboring volcanoes erupting simultaneously became even more astounding Tuesday as new lava flows gushed down slopes on Hawaii's Big Island.
1 day ago
Clarence Gilyard Jr. has died at the age of 66. (Arlene Richie/Shutterstock)...
Toyin Owoseje, CNN

Clarence Gilyard, ‘Die Hard’ and ‘Walker, Texas Ranger’ star, dead at 66

Clarence Gilyard, the actor best known for playing computer hacker Theo in "Die Hard" and naval flight officer Marcus "Sundown" Williams in "Top Gun," has died at the age of 66.
1 day ago
Tea time and Christmastime coincide at The Plaza's elegant Palm Court, where three holiday tea menu...
Marnie Hunter, CNN

15 luxury hotels that go all out for Christmas

These luxury hotels have the most glamorous Christmas decorations of the season.
1 day ago

Sponsored Articles

house with for rent sign posted...
Chase Harrington, president and COO of Entrata

Top 5 reasons you may want to consider apartment life over owning a home

There are many benefits of renting that can be overshadowed by the allure of buying a home. Here are five reasons why renting might be right for you.
Festive kitchen in Christmas decorations. Christmas dining room....
Lighting Design

6 Holiday Decor Trends to Try in 2022

We've rounded out the top 6 holiday decor trends for 2022 so you can be ahead of the game before you start shopping. 
Happy diverse college or university students are having fun on their graduation day...
BYU MBA at the Marriott School of Business

How to choose what MBA program is right for you: Take this quiz before you apply!

Wondering what MBA program is right for you? Take this quiz before you apply to see if it will help you meet your goals.
Diverse Group of Energetic Professionals Team Meeting in Modern Office: Brainstorming IT Programmer...
Les Olson

Don’t let a ransomware attack get you down | Protect your workplace today with cyber insurance

Business owners and operators should be on guard to protect their workplace. Cyber insurance can protect you from online attacks.
Hand turning a thermostat knob to increase savings by decreasing energy consumption. Composite imag...
Lighting Design

5 Lighting Tips to Save Energy and Money in Your Home

Advances in lighting technology make it easier to use smart features to cut costs. Read for tips to save energy by using different lighting strategies in your home.
Portrait of smiling practitioner with multi-ethnic senior people...
Summit Vista

How retirement communities help with healthy aging

There are many benefits that retirement communities contribute to healthy aging. Learn more about how it can enhance your life, or the life of your loved ones.
Fed up with Facebook? Here’s how to protect your data