Facebook Is Tracking You More Than You Realize

Whenever you’re on Facebook, do you ever get the feeling that you’re being watched? An ad pops up that’s right up your alley, or three new articles show up in your feed that  similar to something you’ve just clicked on.
Sometimes it seems like Facebook knows you personally, and that’s because it does. It has algorithms that track what you like, watch and click on. That information is then passed along to Facebook advertisers.
Facebook itself isn’t the only culprit. Tons of companies use Facebook’s platform as a way to track you. In fact, right now there a probably dozens of companies that are watching your posts, storing your profile information and more, without you even realizing it. Today, I’m going to tell you how to stop it.
How did this happen in the first place?
When Facebook first started out, people rushed to the platform because of the many perks that it offered. One of those perks, and probably the most appealing, was the fact that Facebook was entirely ad-free. You could use the platform to connect with family and friends without being bothered by someone trying to sell you something.
Well, like they say, “All good things must come to an end.” Eventually, Facebook began selling ads like everyone else. And that’s when everything changed.
People realized that Facebook provided a treasure trove of information for advertisers. By clicking “like” users were telling companies exactly what they wanted — more of this, less of that, please. This led to the big data tracking we now see.
Three sneaky ways companies are tracking you:
Most people understand that Facebook is tracking their preferences whenever they use the app. But, few realize they’re being tracked in other ways too. And, that’s what these third-party companies are banking on. If you don’t know you’re being tracked, then you won’t ask them to stop. So, here are three things to watch out for.
Facebook apps: This is when you receive a request to play a Facebook game your friends are obsessed with, and you decide to sign up. If you’ve ever done this before, then you’ve allowed that app developer  you. These third-party apps integrate with your Facebook profile and generally have permission to pull whatever information they want. And although you can edit what information they can access, very few people do.
Facebook logins: This is when you visit a site and it says “Log in with Facebook,” and you do, then you’re letting that company track you.
Friends’ apps monitoring you: Even if you didn’t download an app, Facebook’s default settings allow apps your friends have installed to also see YOU. It’s pretty scary.
How to stop it from happening:
You might be wondering why this even matters, and how it really impacts you personally. The easiest way to answer those questions is to point out all of those big data breaches you hear about almost daily. Hackers rarely waste time on individuals these days. They’ve got much bigger fish to fry. Large retailers, for example – or the databases where these third-party companies store the information they’ve gathered. That’s why everyone should take these steps to protect their private information.
Review and edit installed apps: To see what apps you’ve installed over the years, open Facebook in your browser, click the down arrow in the upper right corner and select “Settings.” Then click on the “Apps” header in the left column.
To see what information an app is accessing, click the pencil icon next to any of the apps to see and edit the settings. The first setting lets you set who can see that you use the app. It defaults to “Only Me,” so it isn’t a big deal. Below it, however, is another story.
In the case of Skype, for example, it pulls your public profile information along with your list of friends, email address,  and hometown.
Remember that this information is being stored on a third-party server. Not every app developer is going to have Microsoft-level security, and hackers are good at turning tiny pieces of stolen information into big gains.
If you want to keep using the app, you can deselect certain items, such as your email address. Be aware that won’t remove the information from the app developer’s servers, however. If you change your email address in the future, however, the developer won’t get the new one.
Remove apps you don’t use: If you don’t want to use the app anymore, you can click the “Remove app” link at the bottom of the page. Just remember that this won’t automatically remove your information from the app developer’s servers. For  you’ll need to contact the app developer directly. Facebook has a link for more information on this under the “Remove info collected by the app” section in the app’s settings.
Turn off apps completely: If you’ve deleted all the apps, and you’re not keen on accidentally installing more in the future, you can turn off the app platform completely. Just note you won’t be able to install apps or log in to third-party sites using Facebook until you turn this back on.
To turn off the app platform, go back to the App Settings page. Under “Apps, Websites and Plugins,” click the “Edit” button. At first, this just looks like a way to disable app notifications and invites from other people, which is a big help on its own. However, you’ll want to click the “Disable Platform” link in the bottom left corner.
Facebook gives you the standard warning about what disabling the platform does. If you’re OK with it, click the “Disable Platform” button. Again, this won’t remove information that app developers might have collected about you already.
Stop logging into sites using Facebook: In the future, when you’re adding an app or logging into a website try to avoid logging in with Facebook. But, if you must use Facebook to log in, then look for the “Log in Anonymously” or “Guest” option so it won’t share your information.
Stop friends’ apps from seeing your info: Apps can still get your information through your friends. By default as your friends install apps, those apps have permission to grab whatever info about  friends can see.
To put a stop to this, go back to the App Settings page. Then under “Apps Others Use” click the “Edit” button.
You’ll see everything that your friends’ apps can see about you. Go through and uncheck every option listed on the page, and then click “Save.” Now companies can’t track new information about you.
Apps aren’t the only worry you’ll run into on Facebook. Recently I told you how scammers use Facebook like-farming can put your privacy at risk. Find out how like-farming works and how you can avoid it.
If you want to like something safe that will also bring you the latest news and updates to stay ahead of the game in your digital life, head over to my Facebook page at Facebook.com/KimKomando and click the like button.

Article From USA Today

Instagram For Windows 10 Mobile Beta Arrives

Instagram, the popular photo-sharing social network owned by Facebook, has finally released an app built for Windows 10 Mobile. The absence of a recently updated Instagram app has been a serious sore point in Microsoft’s mobile ecosystem, but that looks set to change soon as a beta version of a new app hit the Windows Store on Monday.
Instagram has an older app for Windows Phone 8, which is supported on Windows 10, but it has languished in perpetual beta since its launch in 2013. The review section is full of complaints that the app has not been updated. The old version is missing crucial features like user-to-user direct messaging and the ability to upload non-square photos.
This new version for Windows 10 Mobile more closely resembles the existing iOS app, upgrading the interface and adding in missing features. In particular, users can now direct message both photos and videos to each other.
The company is asking users to report any problems they find in the beta version. To report issues, users have to physically shake their phones, which brings up the feedback interface.
As a beta, there are some teething issues. Instagram notes that Facebook logins may not work as expected, nor does the “share to” function. The workflow to create and edit an image is also not too stable for the moment: Instagram is telling users to expect app crashes.
Nonetheless, it’s an exciting development for a platform that it seemed like Instagram had given up on. It remains to be seen whether the company decides to expand out the app into a “universal app,” running on desktop as well as mobile. That seems to be unlikely for now, though, as Instagram still doesn’t offer an iPad app, instead focusing specifically on phones.

Don’t Click ‘Like’ On Facebook

Facebook has changed the way people do a lot of things online. For example, you probably notice yourself reflexively clicking ‘like’ on anything your friends post on Facebook, even if it’s just to acknowledge you saw it. Scammers are taking advantage of that reflex for a dangerous scam called “like-farming.”

What is like-farming?

Like-farming is when scammers post an attention-grabbing story on Facebook for the express purpose of cultivating likes and shares. Based on the way Facebook works, the more likes and shares a post has, the more likely it is to show up in people’s News Feeds.

Be careful what you like on Facebook.© AP Photo/Mary Altaffer Be careful what you like on Facebook. This gives the scammer more eyeballs for posts that trick people out of information or send them to malicious downloads. The big question, of course, is why Facebook doesn’t stop these posts before they get too big. And that’s where the real scam comes in.

How the scam works

Scammers have found a simple way to fly under the radar during the early phases of their operation. The story they originally post to Facebook has nothing dangerous about it. It’s just a regular story that anyone might post.

Only after the post gets a certain number of likes and shares does the scammer edit it and add something malicious. They might start promoting products or sell the page information in an attempt to get credit card data. In fact, if you go back through your history of liked posts, you might find that some of them have changed to something you wouldn’t have liked in a million years. By the way, if you’re not sure how to review your likes, click here for the step-by-step instructions.

So, what kinds of stories do scammers start with to trick people into liking and sharing?

Posts that should give you pause

One popular type of story is the emotional one. You’ve definitely seen the posts showing rescue animals and asking you to like if you think they’re cute. Or maybe it’s a medical story where you’re asked to like that the person was cured or to let them know they’re still beautiful after surgery.

There are also the posts that ask for a like to show that you’re against something the government is doing, or that you disagree with something terrible happening in the world. Or maybe it’s the ones that say “If I get X number of likes, then something amazing will happen for me” or “I was challenged to get X number of likes.”

Basically, any post that asks you to like it for emotional reasons, unless you know the person who created the original post, is quite probably a like-farm post. Of course, emotional posts aren’t the only types of post you need to watch for.

Other types of scam posts to avoid

There are a lot of scams on Facebook and most of them can be used for like-farming. A popular one, for example, is a post that asks you to like or share so you can win something cool. These pop up most often when Apple launches a new iPhone or iPad.

You might have seen recently during the huge Powerball frenzy people posting on Facebook saying anyone who likes their post will get a share of their winnings. How real do you think those were?

Just on Thursday, police in Australia warned Facebook users of a like farming scam that attempted to lure customers of Qantas Airlines.

What about brain-teaser posts, such as the ones that have you like or share if you can read the words backwards or solve a tricky math problem? Yep, those are often like-farm posts, too.

It isn’t just posts either; it can also be pages. A scammer might set up a page for “I love puppies” or what appears to be a worthy company or organization. It puts up enough content to get a lot of likes, then switches the content to spam and scams. Once you’ve liked the page, everything new the scammers put up goes on your News Feed and, in some cases, your friends’ feeds as well.

How to avoid like-farming

Your best bet to avoid like-farming is to be very judicious about what you like and share on Facebook. Don’t just reflexively click “like” on everything. Take a look at where the post is coming from. If it’s from someone you don’t recognize, it could be a friend of a friend or it could be a complete stranger. It would be good to find out.

Notice the content and whether it promises anything for liking or sharing. If it does, it’s a good clue that it’s a scam of some kind. The same goes if you feel pushed or pressured into clicking like or share.

Don’t forget that, in the end, minimizing your likes is more than just a good security measure. It also reduces the clutter in your friends’ news feeds, and their clutter in yours, so you can all spend more time seeing the really important posts. That’s a win-win for everyone.

Article from MSN Money