Category Archives: Facebook

Facebook – Change privacy settings for ads

Trying to maneuver your way around Facebook’s privacy settings has always been a problem. Now, with Facebook shooting out more and more ads, it’s time to adjust your privacy settings. Here we go:

1. On any Facebook page, click the down arrow icon up on the top right and choose Settings on the drop-down menu:

photo of menu 1
Settings from the drop-down menu under the arrow icon.

2. The first thing you see if your General settings but we’re after Privacy settings. For now,  just review them, then we’ll move on to Adverts.

Photo of Facebook general settings
Take a quick look here to make sure your info is as you want it.

3. While you’re here, take a look at your basic privacy settings. Our photo shows our settings. We like to keep things set to ‘Friends Only’ and suggest that you do the same.

Photo of Facebook Basic Privacy
We have everything set to Friends Only.

4. Move on to Adverts. Your wording may vary, of course. Adverts is a British term, certainly not one you’d hear in Canada or the U.S.

Photo of Road to Advert Settings
Adverts? Really? Seems so.

5. The page is divided into three sections. You can edit your preferences in the first two but the last is only for your own education. Read the third one carefully after you’ve edited the first two sections.

Photo of Facebook Advert Adjustments
Two of the sections have an Edit button. Read the preamble then click Edit to set your own parameters.

6. The first section describes something that isn’t available yet in Canada. The wording for you may be different. Regardless, we’ve set this up so ‘No one’ will be able to see our information, even if this feature is enabled at a later date. You should do the same.

Photo of 3rd party ad menu
Opt out, even if this feature isn’t available to you yet. (Feature? Not really.)

7. Facebook blithely tells you that “Everyone wants to know what their friends like”. Really? Read the rest of this section carefully. Again, we’ve got this set to ‘No one’. Is there any reason why you would allow Facebook to allow advertisers to use your profile photo? We can’t.

Photo of Adverts and Friends Menu
Do you want your social actions paired to ads? No? We didn’t either.

8. Read the last section very carefully. Facebook follows you while you are on their site but they also follow you when you are ‘off Facebook’. If you don’t agree with this, and we can’t see why you would agree to it, opt out through one of the links shown, depending on where you are in the world. There aren’t links to any Asian countries here so you might have a hard time opting out if you’re not in Canada, the U.S. or Europe. We can’t help with that, unfortunately.

Photo of Facebook Opt Out Form

All of this should be straightforward but if it isn’t, let us know. Comments and questions are welcome but  Likes on our Facebook page get immediate attention.  Here’s the link:

Computers Made Simple on Facebook 

Thanks for reading!

Facebook’s New Terms of Service – Doublespeak Explained

Like the government, Facebook loves to pretend that they’re doing everything for you, always trying to make your Facebook experience extra special. As the old saying goes, if you believe that then we’ve got some land in Florida for you. Here’s a link to Facebook’s Updated Terms of Reference:

Facebook’s New TOS

Photo of Facebook's TOS
In case you missed it, here’s the details on your acceptance of the new TOS.

As you probably already know, simply using Facebook after January 1st, 2015 means that you agree with these updates. You can’t pick and choose from a list, it’s all or nothing. We’re quite sure that a very high percentage of Facebook users don’t ever read these Terms of Service. What we’re going to do over the next little while is show you how to get around most of them in order to protect your privacy. Here’s the main point to remember:

Facebook charges advertisers for the information they give them. Everything you reveal to Facebook increases the chances that advertisers will be targeting you directly with ads that you will, supposedly, find more interesting. Ask yourself this: Do I want to see these ads at all, directed or not? 

There are at least two kinds of advertising techniques that you’ll see on and off of Facebook. First are the actual ads that you see on the pages. Second are the Facebook icons and ‘facepiles’ on almost every website you visit. According to Facebook, you can control who sees your face on other sites. (We’re going to check that to make sure you can.) We’ve written about facepiles before, here’s a link to one of our posts: Facebook 101 – Part 8 – The Hidden Dangers of Facepiles. 

Here are three tips that will make it difficult for Facebook to direct their ads to you:

1. As we said before, the more information you give Facebook, the more they will use it to tune their ads and, essentially, make more money off you. In that case, why tell Facebook anything about yourself? You know how old you are, why tell Facebook. Your friends know where you went to school, where you live, who you work for, etc. Why does that have to be part of your Facebook experience? They will cheerfully tell you that your profile is only partially complete, making it seem that you’re being difficult by not telling them more.

The less you reveal on Facebook, the harder it is for them to direct targeted ads at you. Step one is to reveal less.

Photo of Facebook Profile warning
Oh darn. Only 86% complete. We’re failures!

2. Lie. Two wrongs don’t make a right, we all know that but Facebook goes far beyond simply lying to you. They tell you that everything they do is to make your experience more fun, more worthwhile. Meanwhile they are telling advertisers that you live in Cheboygan, you didn’t finish college and you’re recently divorced and have two children. In that case, why not mix things up a bit? Move to Timbuktu, marry a farmer and enroll in university, one of the online kind. Well, you won’t really more to Timbuktu but you get the point. Unless you’re using your Facebook profile to promote your business, what difference does it make to your friends if you change your information? Heck, you can even change your name. That’s a bit more complicated but it can be done.

3. Use an Ad Blocker. We told you about the Iron Browser in our last post. It’s much like Chrome but far more private. We thought it came with a built-in ad blocker but it doesn’t so you’ll have to add your own. Go to the three horizontal lines up on the top right, click there and choose Tools then Extensions. After that it’s easy to find Adblock and install it.

Put these three tips to good use and you won’t get those annoying ads while you’re actually on the Facebook site. In our next post, we’ll show you how to keep your Facebook profile photo from being seen all over the Internet. We have to test some things first but we’re fairly sure we can figure it out. Wish us luck!

Thanks for reading!

Comments and questions are welcome but  Likes on our Facebook page get immediate attention.  Here’s the link:

Computers Made Simple on Facebook 



Facebook, Privacy and Tracking – Our current projects

You may know that Facebook is in the midst of changing its privacy settings…again. As usual, Facebook is not offering its users any way to opt out of these changes. They simply say, “If you use Facebook, you accept our rules”. Here’s what you may have seen as a notice on Facebook:

Photo of Facebook notice.
If you haven’t seen this yet, you will see it soon. Changes take effect January 1st, 2015.


Once you click on the notice, you’re taken to a page of lies, essentially. Facebook tells you that they’re doing this all for you, that their changes will make your Facebook experience better. In reality, the changes make Facebook a better choice for advertisers. How? Because Facebook will be following you around as you surf the Internet, keeping track of virtually everything you do in order to send your demographics back to head office. Once Facebook gets a big enough picture of your likes, your searches, the pages you regularly use, etc., they will sell your information to advertisers in the form of a profile. Advertisers can then tune their ads to the correct demographic, the right people for their products(s).

Some of you may actually enjoy this personalization. Others, including us here at Computers Made Simple, see this as a threat to our privacy. Facebook isn’t the only culprit here. Google does the same thing. Everything you do on Google, specially if you use Chrome, is fed back to head office, decimated and recorded then fed to the advertisers.  There are other web sites that do much the same thing, Amazon for one.

Over the next few posts we’re going to help you remain anonymous, to some extent anyway, on the Internet. We’ll do this by describing the processes that are used to track you, not heavy tech stuff though so don’t be afraid of what’s coming. Then we will describe alternative browsers and tools that you can use to mask your Internet use. We will also dissect Facebook’s new Terms of Service and explain what you can do to opt out of being a guinea pig in their ever-changing experiments to make more money.

Stay tuned! Happy Thanksgiving to our American readers.

Comments and questions are welcome but  Likes on our Facebook page get immediate attention.  Here’s the link:

Computers Made Simple on Facebook 


Facebook – Turn off video auto-play

Facebook’s latest, and very intrusive, surprise involves videos that play as soon as you see them on your main page. Say you’re scrolling down to see what your friends are up to. As soon as you hit a video, bam! It starts to play. Here’s how to turn this annoying feature off.

1. From any page, click the tiny down-arrow icon up on the top right. Choose Settings:

Photo of Turn Off Facebook Video    1
Settings is what you want first.













2. On the left side, look for the word Videos on the very bottom:

Photo of Turn Off Facebook Video    2
Videos, bottom left side.













3. Click Videos and choose Off. Note that this applies only to your computer. On your phone or other mobile device, it’s necessary to turn the videos off separately.

Photo of Turn Off Facebook Video    3
Off! This should be the default setting, right?





There! You won’t be disturbed by these videos again. All of this makes you wonder what Facebook was thinking when they introduced this feature. Seems to us that they weren’t thinking of their users.

Thanks for reading! Comments and questions are always welcome. Use the form below or, better yet, ask us on Facebook. Here is the link:Computers Made Simple on Facebook.

Facebook : How to change your name and other details

Here’s a fairly short video about changing your name and assorted details on your Facebook account. It’s not that hard but it involves going to two different places. Changing your name is under the General tab on settings while your other personal details, gender etc., are in the ‘update information’ area. It’s easier for us to do a video when we’re bouncing around like this so we did! Hope you like it.


Questions and comments are always welcome. Comment here or on our Facebook page.  Here is the link:Computers Made Simple on Facebook.

Thanks for watching and reading!