Facebook’s latest scandal has left users considering whether or not to delete their accounts.
An estimated 39 million of us in the UK use the social media site, but many are now considering removing it from their lives to protect their personal data.
Last week, it was revealed that in 2014, 50 million Facebook profiles were allegedly harvested by Cambridge Analytica.
The firm are accused of using the data to influence how people voted in the Brexit referendum and the US Presidential election, a claim they deny.
Facebook’s CEO Mark Zuckerberg admitted yesterday that his company ‘made mistakes’ over the decision to allow this to happen.
Facebook uses code, such as cookies, pixels and tags, to build an online digital profile of someone, even if they themselves do not have an account.
They also allow third-party ‘vampire apps’ to use its social network to and take data about users such as name, profile picture, cover photo, gender, networks, username and user ID.
People can manually remove permission for the apps to do this, but it remains unclear if they will be able to claw back the information, reports MailOnline.
There are a number of ways you can stop these apps from tracking you after you delete your account.
Change the settings on your browser
If you’re using Google Chrome, go to ‘Settings’ in the right-hand dropdown menu.
Then click on ‘Show advanced settings’ and select Privacy.
Finally, click on ‘Send a do not track request with your browsing traffic.’
A popup on Chrome further explains what this means: ‘Enabling Do Not Track means that a request will be included with your browsing traffic.
‘Any effect depends on whether a website responds to the request, and how the request is interpreted.
‘For example, some websites may respond to this request by showing you ads that aren’t based on other websites you’ve visited.
‘Many websites will still collect and use your browsing data– for example, to improve security, to provide content, services, ads, and recommendations on their websites, and to generate reporting statistics.’
What this means is that not all websites necessarily have to honour ‘Do Not Track’ requests.
Change your settings on your smartphone or tablet
If you have an iPad or iPhone go to Settings, tap Privacy and then scroll down to click on Advertising.
Then, swipe the ‘Limit Ad Tracking’ button.
If you choose to leave the ‘Limit Ad Tracking’ feature off, that means advertisers can track your browsing behaviour by assigning your device a unique ID number.
If the option is switched on, your device will be represented as ‘00000000-0000-0000-0000-000000000000.’
This will make it harder for ad technology companies to track your browsing behaviour.
For Android users, the process is very similar.
You open up Settings, click Accounts and Sync, select Google, then Ads and finally, select ‘Opt Out of Interest Based Ads.’
Contact your local data privacy alliance
Google, Facebook and Twitter are just a few of the major corporations that are part of a number of privacy alliances that have agreed to honour requests to stop tracking.
These are the Digital Advertising Alliance in the US, the Digital Advertising Alliance of Canada and the European Interactive Digital Advertising Alliance.
The websites of each of these organisations contain instructions on how to add your details to their ‘do not track’ schemes.
Go on Facebook and change your tacking settings
Facebook gives all of its users the option to opt out of ad tracking on the site.
Log in to Facebook, go to Settings, then click on ‘Ads’ in the menu on the left-hand side of the screen.
Under Ad Settings, there is a button that says ‘Ads on apps and websites off of the Facebook Companies.’
Click on it.
Then scroll down to the bottom and select ‘No.’
Facebook says that if you select that option, it means that you’ll still see ads, but ‘they won’t be as relevant to you.’
Additionally, you may still see ads related to your age, gender or location.