It’s no longer surprising that social media companies like Meta collect a lot of information about you. Tap or click here to change 10 Facebook privacy and security settings right now.
When you sign up for a Facebook, Instagram, or Twitter account, you’re asked if you want to sync your contacts. It appears to be harmless, but it is not. Here’s why you should stop doing it.
The collection of data extends far beyond social media. Every Big Tech company knows something about you. You have profiles on Apple, Google, Twitter, and Meta. But how much do they know? There is, however, a way for you to find out.
Discover what Apple is aware of.
Some Big Tech companies have taken steps to limit your data’s exposure to third-party advertisers, but this does not completely eliminate it. Apple introduced App Tracking Transparency a few months ago, allowing iOS users to choose which apps can access their data.
Even with that enabled, Apple collects a massive amount of data, including your Apple ID information, data stored in your photos and emails, and purchases from the Apple Store, App Store, and iTunes.
To see what Apple has stored on you, you can download a copy of your personal data. Here’s how it’s done:
• Go to privacy.apple.com and sign in to your Apple account, then select Request a copy of your data.
• Choose the data you want or check the box next to Select all.
• Select Continue, then Request Completion.
• A confirmation screen will appear, stating that you will be notified via email when your data is ready. It could take up to 7 days.
You may need to sign in multiple times and obtain a two-factor authentication code if two-factor authentication is enabled. Tap or click here for more information on 2FA and why you should use it whenever possible.
Google tracks more than just searches.
Google may know more about you than your closest friends if you have a Google account. The only way to stop Google from tracking and storing your data is to stop using its services. It’s much easier said than done.
Here’s how to manage the information Google has on you:
You can see what Google has saved to your profile and delete all of your search history, location tracking, YouTube history, and personalised advertising.
• Choose Manage All Web and App Activity. Using the controls on this page, you can view your activity, delete it manually, or delete it automatically. To begin, select the Delete option from the dropdown menu.
• Select Manage history for your YouTube data and location history, and then follow the steps outlined above.
Twitter is eternal.
Twitter saves your login history, devices used, locations visited while using Twitter, and likes. Remember, any tweet can be screenshotted, tracked down, and used against you at any time.
Here’s how to get a copy of your Twitter data:
• From a computer, sign into your Twitter account and click the more icon in the navigation bar.
• Navigate to Settings and Support > Privacy and security.
• Go to Your Account > Download a backup of your data.
• Your password will be requested. You can also verify your identity by having a code sent to your email and/or phone number on file.
• Once your identity has been verified, click the Request data button.
• When your download is complete, Twitter will notify you via email or push notification. Under the Download data section of your settings, click the Download data button.
• Once you receive the email, log in to your Twitter account and click the Download button to download a ZIP file containing your Twitter archive.
If you decide to leave Twitter, don’t delete your account. Someone could take your old username and pose as you. Tap or click here to learn how to fly the coop safely.
Facebook is a data goldmine.
Your personal information is collected in large quantities by social media accounts. This is also why hackers value Facebook or Twitter accounts more than credit card information. What’s more, the best part? You provided the data on your own. By creating a Facebook account, the company learns your name, age, location, friends, interests, and even political affiliation.
Here’s how to get a copy of your Facebook data:
• Launch Facebook on your computer and navigate to your profile.
• Navigate to Settings & Privacy > Settings.
• From the left pane, select Privacy > Your Facebook information.
• Click the Download profile information button.
• Tick or untick the boxes for each category. Date range, download format, and media quality are also options.
• When you are finished, click Request a download to begin the download.
• Your request will be marked as Pending in the Download Your Information tool’s Available Files section.
• You’ll be notified when it’s ready, which could take a few days. When this occurs, navigate to the Download Your Information tool’s Available Files section.
• Select Download and type in your password.
Are you ready to take a break or leave Facebook for good? Here are six easy steps to follow.
Maintain your technological knowledge.
“Kim Komando Today” is the name of my popular podcast. It’s a solid 30 minutes of tech news, tips, and callers from all over the country with tech questions like yours. Look for it wherever you listen to podcasts. For your convenience, you can view a recent episode by clicking on the link below.
PODCAST PICK: Cops on Facebook, ChatGPT drama, and top scams on the rise
In addition, learn how to save big money with smart water technology, which files hackers most commonly use, and the five worst tech gadgets that steal your privacy and callers like you.
Listen to my podcast “Kim Komando Today” on Apple, Google Podcasts, Spotify, or your preferred podcast player.