The Facebook/Cambridge Analytica scandal has a lot of people looking at just how much data the social network has on them and all the intricate ways the company extracts information out of people.
One thing we can all agree on regarding the amount of data Facebook collects off you is this: it's a hell of a lot of it.
So how do you keep that data safe? How do you stop Facebook from tracking your every move?
If you're not keen on deleting your Facebook account, there are some other steps you can take to secure your privacy.
Step 1. Click on the arrow on the top right of your Facebook page on your browser (assuming you're viewing Facebook on a computer rather than a mobile device)
Step 2. Select "settings" from the drop-down menu
Step 3. Go to "apps", on the left-hand column
Step 4. Try not to panic when you realise the huge list of apps tracking you via Facebook (the list probably includes some apps you don't even remember hearing about, let alone allowing them to track you).
These random apps have access to an incredible amount of your personal information, even when it doesn't seem to be even remotely relevant to them (why would the "Which The Big Bang Theory character are you?" quiz know my work history or have access to the photos I've uploaded to Facebook, for example?)
Step 5. With your mouse, hover over each of the apps and change the app permissions. You can delete an app completely and the app will no longer be connected to your Facebook account. You can also just check how much any given app knows about you.
Step 6. Within "apps", scroll down to "Apps other use". You can see all the data that, unbeknownst to you (and probably to them), your friends are sharing about you through the apps they authorise in their own accounts.
Keep in mind that, just as your friends are giving away your information through their apps, you are doing the same thing to them, without realising it. This means that protecting your data is not just about your own privacy but about protecting your friends' privacy too.
The good news here, if there's any, is that you are now armed with the knowledge and can edit the permissions these apps have to dig information about you and potentially spread it around.
Note that once you remove an app, Facebook tells you the app will keep the data it has collected about you to date and it's up to you to contact the app developers about this.