Facebook: protecting your privacy

Are you sharing more than you realise?
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02.Tips to protect your privacy

  • Log out of any sites each time you’re finished and before going to browse elsewhere online.
  • Use browser plug-ins to limit how and where your cyber movements can be tracked.
  • Don’t use third-party social media-sharing buttons on websites, such as news sites that ask for your Twitter, Facebook or other log-in details and that can post on your behalf.
  • Don’t sign up to third-party apps, tools or games that want your personal information and can share on your behalf.
  • Go through each setting on Facebook to protect your identity.
  • Don’t sign in to other social services and websites using your Twitter or Facebook profile as this links these profiles for potentially cross-posting and cross-sharing your movements.
  • Look for privacy policies on websites that state it doesn’t collect your computer’s  internet address.
  • Sign out of Google or Gmail before using Google search or use a search engine, such as Duckduckgo, that doesn’t collect or share your personal data.
  • Go to the Google Dashboard (if you have a Google account) to check what information is collected and alter your privacy settings.

It’s alarming that Facebook is changing our definition of privacy by encouraging people to share in the name of friendship without due consideration of the business built on it. In the US, a privacy bill of rights has been proposed to give users greater control over how their data is used on the internet, and while this may not get up, the issue of online privacy will continue to gain importance. 

Facebook’s data use policy runs to many pages and outlines how your data may be used.

Facebook gathers data about you and how you use apps within Facebook, and has information about web users on external websites with Facebook buttons. 

It installs cookies (browser plug-ins) on your computer and uses pixels (code used on web pages) to measure web page views and provides user data to aggregators – external companies that analyse the data for personalising ads within Facebook. It also monitors users on some external sites. 


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Browser Tools

Some browsers have inbuilt tools to limit how and where you’re tracked  on the internet, while others allow you to turn on or open a new in-private browsing window. Follow the steps outlined below for each browser, then look at additional browser plug-ins to further hide your online movements.


Go to Tools > Options > Privacy tab and check the box Tell websites I do not want to be tracked.

            Firefox plug-ins: AdBlock Plus, Ghostery, Do Not Track Plus, NoScript, Priv3

Google Chrome

Go to the wrench tool and click New incognito window.

            Chrome plug-ins: AdBlock Plus, Ghostery, ScriptNo, Do Not Track Plus


Go to Safari > Private Browsing and click OK.

            Safari plug-ins: Do Not Track Plus, AdBlock, Ghostery

Internet Explorer

Go to Tools > InPrivate Browsing

            Internet Explorer plug-ins:  Do Not Track Plus, Ghostery


Go to Menu > Tabs and Windows > New Private Tab

           Opera plug-ins: AdBlock, Ghostery, NotScripts

Browser Plug-ins

  • AdBlock Plus/AdBlock prevents ads loading in the browser
  • Ghostery shows if your computer’s internet address is being recorded and by whom
  • Do Not Track Plus blocks websites and social networking sites from tracking you on the net
  • NoScript controls how JavaScript is used in your Mozilla browser
  • ScriptNo limits JavaScript on sites potentially being used to access  login information for other websites
  • Priv3 stops social networking sites installing cookies on your computer that will track your internet movements
  • NotScripts blocks JavaScript and other scripted content

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