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Adjust these Facebook privacy settings to protect your personal data

Facebook has rolled out new settings to appease users after the Cambridge Analytica scandal. Here's what you need to know.
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By Jake Smith and  ZDNet Editors on
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​Facebook knows a lot about you

Facebook knows a lot about you. And so do the third-party app makers and partners in the social network's ecosystem.Facebook apps can bleed your information without you knowing.

In wake of the scandal, it's important to know which apps have access to your personal data and make the appropriate privacy changes to your account.

Facebook has rolled out new settings to appease users after the Cambridge Analytica scandal. Here's what you need to know.

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​Facebook's App Settings page

Facebook's App Settings page is one of the social network's most important privacy destinations.

App Settings displays Facebook apps that are connected to your Facebook account. Here, you can see what data you provide apps and disable sharing select info. You can also remove the app completely from your Facebook account.

Yes, even the FarmVille app you downloaded three years ago.

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How to access ​Facebook's App Settings page from the web

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Unlink any Facebook apps from your account

It's probably wise to unlink any Facebook apps from your account you no longer use. Remember, Cambridge Analytica's app was legitimate on the surface. Apps have access to your friend list and any information your friends choose to make public -- don't be fooled.

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Completely disable the Facebook app platform

Instead of cherry picking and disabling Facebook apps, you can completely disable the Facebook app platform. This means you won't be able to use Facebook integrations on third party apps or websites who access data through OAuth. Theoretically, you won't be sharing as much data with prying eyes. You can turn off Facebook's app platform off by going to App Settings, then edit Apps, Websites and Plugins.

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Just keep in mind...

When you disable Facebook's app platform:

  1. You will not be able to log into websites or applications using Facebook.
  2. You will not be able to log into mobile games or applications using Facebook.
  3. Your friends won't be able to interact and share with you using apps and websites.Instant personalization will also be turned off.
  4. Apps you've previously installed may still have info you shared. Facebook says you should contact apps for details on removing this data.
  5. Apps you've logged into (with Facebook or Anonymously) will be removed.
  6. Posts by apps will be removed from your profile.
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Facebook's Access Your Information setting

A new setting Facebook rolled out, called Access Your Information, lets users access and delete their posts, reactions, comments, and searches from their timeline or profile. (Facebook said the new setting was already in the works before the Cambridge Analytica scandal.)

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Download your archive

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Privacy Shortcuts menu

Also new is a Privacy Shortcuts menu to give users easier access to data controls. Here, you can make your account more secure with settings like two-factor authentication, control personal information, control advertisement information, profile privacy, and more.

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Security and Login settings page

The Security and Login settings page shows you the location where your Facebook account is logged in and from which device. It also allows you to change you password, log in with a profile picture instead of password, enable/disable two factor authentication, encrypted email notifications, and more.

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Check Facebook mobile app permission

You can also check Facebook mobile app permission details including storage access, camera, whether the microphone can record audio or not, phone status, approximate location (network-based), and your precise location (GPS and network-based).

Finally, remember to clear your web browser cookies. This will allow you to send less data to Facebook to use in advertisements on yourself.

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