Do you ever get the feeling someone is watching you? If you are on Facebook, you probably know it well! You use the internet to look up new shoes or a recipe for soup, and before you know it, your Facebook feed is populated with ads for everything from new boots to soup crackers. It’s as if you can’t make a move online without Facebook knowing about it.
Well, luckily, there is a way to keep Big Brother from trailing you down every online rabbit hole. Matthew Stuart at Business Insider gives a handy breakdown of ways to keep Facebook from following you around the internet.
Here are the highlights:
1. First, you need to understand that if you do not take these steps, then Facebook can and will follow your shopping behavior online as well as keep track of everything you search. It’s legal and they have been upfront about these intentions, so if you don’t want this happening on your Facebook page, you must take steps to change your settings.
2. Go to Facebook. Click on settings. Go to Ads. Now, turn “Ads based on my use of websites and apps” to the “Off” position.
3. Change the “Ads on apps and websites off of the Facebook Companies” option to “No.”
4. Change “Ads with my social actions” to “No one.” (This will make activity such as visiting your favorite restaurant or going to Starbucks with friends off-limits to advertisers.)
5. Stuart says you should next select “Visit ad preferences” within the “Ads based on my preferences” section.
Now expand and delete each category to get rid of the corresponding ads. However, Stuart cautions that this will not solve the issue permanently. You will have to go back and perform this step again periodically, as your online behavior will continue to be watched and recorded (for example, if you like your city’s baseball team or if you share a recipe from Whole Foods).
It can be a little frightening to know that your every move is being watched by Facebook, but if you’re proactive, there’s a lot you can do to maintain your privacy online.