If you’re unhappy with all the hoo-ha about Facebook and privacy issues you really might want to think twice before you delete or disable your Facebook account.

“WHAT? They’re sharing my data, invading my privacy and displaying my private information to the public. Worse yet, they’re selling it to marketers who will use my face in ads to my friends!! Are you nuts???”

OK, stop shouting at me.

I’ve never been a big fan of Facebook for my personal account, but then I never thought I had any privacy to start with. Here’s the thing. If you delete your Facebook profile you lose what little control you do have.

  • Any images or stories you posted will be deleted except not if they ended up on your friends walls
  • Applications or games you allowed to email you will still be able to email you and it will be harder to turn them off.
  • You know those annoying invitations to events you keep getting? They might not stop either.
  • You won’t know what’s being said about you on Facebook. By your friends or anonymous sources
  • You could lose control of a part of your personal brand

So what should you do?

Turn off the setting that lets your photos be used in ads to your friends
OK, this is probably a band aid, since it could change at any time, but…

  • Go to “settings” and click on “privacy”.
  • Click the tab that reads “Facebook ads”.
  • Choose “no one” in the drop down box under “opt out of appearing in your friends’ Facebook Ads below”.
  • Remove any pictures you don’t want public and hope for the best.

Applications can now store your information indefinitely. Start removing them from your profile.

  • Click on “account” and then “Application Setttings”.
  • In the drop down, change “Show” to “Authorized”.
  • This will show you all the apps you’ve ever given permission to.
  • Click the “X” on the right of each application to delete it.
  • A pop-up will appear. Click “Remove” and then “Okay” to confirm.

Again, this is not a permanent fix and those applications may have already stored your data. But it’s a start.

Try the Green Safe
Green Safe exports your private data so you can purge that information from Facebook and letting only your friends see it on a tab called “my info”. Granted, you’re turning your personal data over to another Facebook application, but considering the developer’s blog, it looks like he’s as outraged as the rest of us and honestly trying to provide a solution.

These are a few of your options to protect your privacy. I’m done ranting about Facebook but I’d like to point out that they are not the only ones with your data. This whole thing has opened some eyes to what could happen with your personal information. It’s time to think about not over-sharing online.

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