In recent years, the name of Facebook has become synonymous with scandals and data leaks. The social media network has a poor privacy record, and although it has recently made some minimal effort to correct its errors, features such as the recently introduced Off-Facebook activity only reveal how much data it is really harvesting. The new tool finally gives you the option to see which apps and websites interact with Facebook and what data they collect about you. Even if you are privacy conscious, it is highly likely that a large number of apps and websites collect information about you. That is why we have prepared a manual for the use of Off-Facebook activity and how you can protect your data more effectively on the web and on your Android phone.
Access and use of Off-Facebook activity
Like many other Facebook privacy settings, the Off-Facebook activity tool is buried under a number of menus. The easiest way to access and change your settings is to simply open this direct link on your PC. It gives you an overview of activities that companies share about you with Facebook. This can vary from visiting a website and opening an app to making purchases and donations. This data usually comes into the hands of the social network because companies use one of Facebook's various tools, such as Facebook Login or Facebook SDK. Despite what some companies claim, all data that you see through Off-Facebook activity is personally identifiable for Facebook itself because it is directly connected to your profile.
<img class = "lazyload aligncenter wp-image-1085583" title = "Off Facebook activity Android app" src = "data: image / svg + xml,% 3Csvg% 20xmlns =% 22http: //www.w3.org/2000/svg%22%20viewBox=%220%200%201200%201240%22%3E%3C/svg%3E "data-src =" https: // cdn57. androidauthority.net/wp-content/uploads/2020/02/Off-Facebook-activity-Android-app-653×675.png "alt =" Off Facebook activity Android app  Once you open Off-Facebook activity, you must click on the app / website icons to see a detailed overview of the activity shared with Facebook (you can also use this direct link) You will be asked to re-enter your password. click on each app to see how many interactions it has had with Facebook – don't be surprised to find games, fitness apps and basically every shopping app you've ever used in the list – here's what you need to do to find out exactly see what information have shared these apps with Facebook:
How to view your shared Off-Facebook activity information
- Click on an app in the list.
- Open the drop-down menu with the number of interactions and scroll down.
- Click on Download activity details that takes you to the Download your information page .
- Select All of my data from the date range, HTML for format and Low media quality (so your file can be downloaded faster). Click on Create file .
- This process will take some time. Wait until Facebook notifies you that the file is ready for download.
- Extract the file and open the folder Advertisements and companies . Click on the file Your off-Facebook activity .
- Click on an app or website in the list to see when there has been interaction with Facebook and what data it has shared.
Unfortunately, many apps will label some of the activity as Custom. If you want to know what that means, you can only contact the developers of companies or apps directly and ask for information.
It is also important to note that the list generated by Off-Facebook activity does not contain all your data. It will take some time for more recent interactions to appear, such as those that have taken place in recent days. Activity older than 180 days will also not be visible. Facebook has also stated that:
We receive more details and activities than what appears here. For technical and accuracy reasons, this list does not reflect all the activity that we have received. Activity that is not displayed contains information that we have received when you are not logged in to Facebook or when we cannot confirm that you have used Facebook on that device before. It also contains details such as the item that you have added to your shopping basket.
How to protect your data on Facebook
So what can you do to protect yourself? One of the first steps you can take is to turn off future activities. You can do this by following this link. Unfortunately, the only thing that is achieved with this is to disconnect future activity from your profile. It makes the information that Facebook has about you non-personally identifiable, but it is not a permanent solution. The company will also continue to collect your data.
What about deleting your profile and all Facebook apps from your phone? It is a good step, but not very effective, because Facebook also collects information from non-users. However, if you live in the European Union, you have the right to request data from the social network to remove any information it may have about you if you are under the AVG, especially if you no longer use the services.
Facebook also collects data for non-users.
If you still need to use Facebook to stay in touch with family and friends, your best option on Android is to use a privacy-focused browser such as the DuckDuckGo privacy browser or Firefox Focus. On PC you have even more options. One of the best is the use of Firefox with its add-on for Facebook containers. This will prevent Facebook from collecting activity from other websites that you visit. You can also install other privacy plug-ins, such as HTTPS Everywhere, Ublock Origin (for advertising cookies) and even use Firefox's built-in option to block third-party cookies.
Another simple but effective step to protect your data is not using the apps and websites that are mentioned in your activity outside of Facebook. Although activity is usually collected for advertising purposes, given Facebook's track record with user data, it is not something to be taken lightly.
When writing this article, we discovered, for example, that the Clue app interacted with Facebook to track the period. No medical or other sensitive data is shared with the social network. Activity such as when the app was opened and other custom activity (logging in and out) was shared with Facebook.
Now that you know how to use Off-Facebook activity, you can view our main guide about other Facebook privacy settings. you have to change here today.