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How Facebook Tracks You and Forwards Your Information to Advertisers

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Facebook took the world by storm when it was created by Mark Zuckerburg during his time at Harvard. In the mid-2000s the social media giant seemed too popular to ever fail. Then the 2016 election took place, and the epidemic of “fake news” plagued the site. Now Facebook is under attack again — for tracking its users.

Recently, an employee of a company called “Cambridge Analytica” blew the whistle that the company had built personality profiles of 50 million Facebook users to more easily push certain political ads.

That whole mess is still being worked out by Facebook, but the question must be asked: Does Facebook know too much about you? If so, how can you mitigate how much a company that you use every day knows about you?

Well, thanks to an article recently published by Business Insider with step-by-step instructions, it shows how users can keep their information safe when using the site. To start, you want to see what is built into “Your ad preferences.”

To get there, log in to your account, and click on “settings” and then proceed to ads on the left-hand side. Here, you can see what you liked and what Facebook uses to build a profile of your preferences. Sports, movies and news outlets topped my personal profile.

After all is said and done, Facebook shares this profile with advertisers to better determine what ads would catch your eye. It’s important to note that this profile may have some inaccuracies. For example, the author of the Business Insider article explained that he was categorized as “very liberal,” an observation that he says is incorrect.

Facebook also uses your location every time you log in to see where you go and how often. Sadly, the only way to opt out of Facebook following you is to opt out of Facebook and its affiliates services. So no more Facebook or Instagram.

Facebook has remained free to users due to the use of advertisements. If this was not the case, everyone would be expected to pay a subscription fee. Facebook following you may not be an ideal situation, but it could be worse.