Tech Talk: Lock It Down — How To Stop Companies From Sharing Your Facebook Info

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December 17, 2012 ‐ By Ann Brown
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Last week, Facebook announced it will begin sharing your posting data and information with its partner companies, after a public vote in which only .67 percent of users voted. But all might not be lost. According to Yahoo News, there is a way to stop companies from collecting and selling your Facebook info.

Companies actually started collecting your Facebook information long before the network’s vote. Earlier this year, Congress requested that nine data brokerage companies reveal what they collect, how they do it, and whether they sell it to third parties. Congress discovered  that data companies collect information from Twitter, Facebook, LinkedIn, Blogspot, WordPress, MySpace, and YouTube all in the name of advertising.

“This information includes individual email addresses and screen names, website addresses, interests, and professional history,” writes Yahoo News. But, according to the site, you can block your information from being used with a tool called Privacyfix. Privacyfix tracks the websites you use and tells you which of them are collecting data on you.

A browser plug-in for Firefox and Chrome, it analyzes “your privacy settings across data-rich social networking sites like Google and Facebook, and any other websites you’ve visited.” It also allows you to fix the privacy setting on the various sites so that the data collecting will stop. There are a number of settings you can “fix.” “These include excluding your Facebook profile from search engine results, blocking your friends from inadvertently sharing your personal information, making your postings private (visible only to friends) by default, and so on,” explains Yahoo News. The program is pretty self-explanatory — it includes step-by-step instructions on how you can block data sharing on Facebook, Google, and other sites.

Will you be using it?

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