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How Facebook Knows What You Are Doing

Have you ever noticed how the ad’s on Facebook seem to be about things you just looked at on other sites. Well its not an accident because Facebook knows what you are doing on the web. Today’s post will cover How Facebook Knows What You Are Doing and what you can do to protect yourself.

facebook 500 x 450When you have billions of users, you have a lot of influence online. If you are speaking of influence on the web, Facebook on the top of the list.  So how does Facebook know what you are doing?

How Facebook Knows About You

Facebook has a couple of things it offers websites. They have 3 primary tools that collect what you do. All of the tools Facebook offers websites have 1 ultimate goal, to get as much data history as possible. According to the FB page – How does Facebook receive information

  • Facebook Pixel and Facebook SDK. Facebook Pixel and Facebook SDK are tools that businesses can choose to add to their website or app. These tools allow the business to send information about people’s interactions on their website or app to Facebook, such as when someone makes a purchase or opens an app.
  • Facebook Login and Account Kit. A business can add Facebook Login or Account Kit to their app or website, which lets you log in without having to create and remember a new password. When a business uses Login or Account Kit, we get some information from them, such as the type of device you’re using.
    • With Facebook Login, you log into a business’s website with your Facebook account information.
    • With Account Kit, you log into an app or website using your phone number or email address.

So knowing that Facebook is everywhere, what can you do?  That answer has 2 parts.

How Do You Protect Yourself From Facebook Knowing

  • If Facebook is tracking you how do you protect yourself? The 1st part of that answer is directly on Facebook and is known as Off-Facebook Activity. What is Off-Facebook Activity

Off-Facebook activity includes information that businesses and organizations share with us about your interactions with them. Interactions are things like visiting their website or logging into their app with Facebook. Off-Facebook activity does not include customer lists that businesses use to show a unique group of customers relevant ads.

Which is how Facebook shows you the ad’s about things you just saw or did. To review who has sent your information and to turn off this function

  • Go to Settings
  • Click on Your Facebook Information on the left side of the page
  • Now select Off-Facebook Activity

Off Facebook activity setting

  • On the right side click Manage Your Off-Facebook Activity

Manage Off-Facebook

Once you click on the manage link, you will be taken to the Off-Facebook Activity page.

Off Facenook activity manage

From here you need to do 2 things, if you want to completely turn off this function

  • Start by Clearing History. If you take a look at the history, you will see how much influence Facebook has.
  • After clearing history, click on Manage Future History on the right

Off Facebook manage future activity

You will get an attempt by Facebook to not touch the setting. Click on Manage Future Activity on this pop up window

off facebook manage pop up

  • Now select Future Off-Facebook Activity to turn off this function

Off Facebook turn off

  • You will now see 1 more notice. Select Turn Off and you will have turned off this function.

Off facebook final turn off

  • The second part involves your browser. More specifically the Firefox browser. If you use the Firefox browser, it includes a built in feature called Facebook Container.  The feather

Facebook container FAQ

As explained with the Facebook Container, an icon that looks like a fence appears in the address bar when you visit sites that have functions to share info with Facebook.

Facebook container FAQ 2

The Facebook Container function will block the sites from sharing with Facebook and will let you know when it does.

Facebook container FAQ 3

Final Thought

The Facebook container function is built in to Firefox. Other browsers have similar plug-in’s but none currently appear as complete as the Facebook container function on Firefox. These are the steps to try and limit what Facebook can learn about you.


How Facebook Knows What You Are Doing

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