You’ve probably heard by now the recent Facebook scandal involving 50 million Facebook users personal data being accessed by Cambridge Analytica. It is important to note, that it’s not Facebook’s fault for leaking your personal data, it’s YOU!
What happened is that Cambridge Analytica built a Facebook app, and those people who wanted to use the App consented to allow the app owners to collect information about them. This is how the data leak occurred. So how do you know if you have signed up to an app that has access to your Facebook account, and how to you remove it? Or even, to find out if any of your old status updates or pictures are available to the public, then keep on reading!
How to Remove Unused Facebook Apps
To remove unwanted or old Facebook apps that could be accessing (and storing) your personal Facebook data, please follow the below steps:
- Log into Facebook.com
- Click on the drop-down arrow (located on the right-hand side in the blue Facebook header and select Settings.
- On the left-hand side, click Apps
Alternatively, you can click here to go straight to the page.
Here you will see all the Apps that are currently connected to your Facebook account.
When you click on the app, you can see what information it can access.
For Example, I have Spotify connected, and here’s the information it has access to:
- My full name
- My profile picture
- My age and date of birth
- My gender
- All my public information
- My friends list
- My email address
If you look at something like Tinder, it has access to the above information, plus the follow:
- My relationship information
- My work history
- My education history
- All my uploaded photos and all photos I have been tagged in
- Every page I have liked
If I look at the PlayStation Network app, it has access to what Tinder has, plus the following:
- My entire news feed
- All my posts, posts I am tagged in, and posts people have published to my timeline
- All my status updates
- All events I attend
- All my groups I am in
- My hometown
- My interests
- Where I live (current city)
- My religious views
- My political views
- My videos
- My website
- My personal description
In addition, PlayStation can post things on my timeline on my behalf!
Now you have two options, you can remove the app entirely by clicking on the X when hovering over the app, or you can untick any of the blue icons.
It is important to note that this process merely removes the App to access your Facebook Data. It does not remove your data the app holds on you and you will need to contact them directly.
If we use the PlayStation Network App, it could have archived all my Facebook account details, and store it forever, until I tell them to remove it (or hope they are ethical enough to delete the data as soon as I delete the app).
Don’t let your friends provide your data to their apps
On the Apps page, there is also a section called “Apps others use”. This basically shares your data that your friends can see to the apps they use. Click on Edit and untick every option.
What does the public see about you?
Did you know you can view your Facebook profile as the public would, or even a friend? Just go to your Profile screen (or click here). Click on the three dots … in your cover image and select View As. Alternatively, you can click straight here.
This will open up your profile and show it as the public would see it.
What can your friends see about you?
On the page above, you also have the option to type a friend’s name to see how you friends can see your Facebook profile. Just click View as Specific Person and enter a friend’s name.
Delete Your Old Posts / See Your Activity
One final tip is to go through your Facebook Activity and delete anything you no longer wish people to see. You can filter your activity by a whole range of things. You can even see your entire Facebook search history!
To access your activity log, go to your Facebook Profile and select View Activity Log or simply click here.
Always think about what you post
One final thing I would like to stress, make sure you think about what you post online. A simple rule to follow is if you don’t want your mum to see it, don’t post it. I am also not a fan of people tagging me in content, as you have no control over what they post, and you can’t untag yourself. So if you are trying to uphold a professional image, and your friends are tagging you in stories you don’t want your boss to find out about, please ask them to delete it as a simple Facebook search of your name can reveal all posts you are tagged in.
If you’re worried, you can always easily delete Facebook.