If you think social media networks know just a little too much about you, you’re not wrong. The platforms monitor what you post, search and interact with, and your data is shared and analyzed in an effort to curate your perfect online experience.
Mostly, companies use this information to target their marketing messages to your known needs and interests, and although it can feel invasive, this business practice is usually harmless. There are, however, instances of online data collection and sharing that can have devastating consequences.
Whether insidious or not, many who feel vulnerable and exposed by social media platforms’ data collection and sharing methods are trying to erase their digital footprints. If you want to increase your online privacy or understand how much of your data is available for all to see, read and learn more about how to access your online data. In the meantime, below is some helpful information regarding your Facebook and Google Data.
After years of use, Facebook has probably compiled a thorough profile of all your data. Because of the sheer amount of information, they’ve also developed a neat little system to catalog it all, which also makes it easier for you to sort and search.
To download your Facebook data, follow these steps:
- Select the drop-down menu in the top right corner of your Facebook page, click on “Settings & Privacy”.
- Click “Settings”, and then go to “Your Facebook Information”.
- From there, select “Download Your Information”, and access an archive of everything you’ve ever done on the platform. Be warned, though, the file will probably be massive –several gigabytes, at least.
Myactivity.google.com is your central database for all things Google. You can see information from all your devices that use Google products. The data is so comprehensive and thoroughly tracked, it’s a little overwhelming. Google logs every video you watch on YouTube, every search on Google Maps, every time you web search a dictionary definition and more.
From the “My Google Activity” page, you can remove activities by selecting “Delete” and choosing a time frame from the menu. Your information will be automatically deleted once a time frame is chosen. There are other privacy and security features you should check out while on this page.
It’s been said what you put online stays there forever, but as explained, there are ways to limit the reach of your online information. Being savvy about your online privacy is a fundamental skill in this digital age. Make sure you know your stuff. And remember, Chariton Valley is always here to keep you connected and keep you secure online.