Tag 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, 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 From Scratch – A video about signing up for Facebook

Our posts about Facebook are the most popular ones that we create. In view of that, we’re going to do a series of videos about the whole Facebook process, from signing up to securing your privacy. It’s a big task but we’re pretty sure it will interest you. We’ll try to keep the videos short and entertaining. If you have comments or suggestions, please let us know.

We missed a couple of things in the video that we’ll correct next time but, for now, note two things. First, you can’t hide your current profile photo. Second, you can’t hide any  of your background photos, the big ones at the top of your own timeline. If you’re concerned about privacy, make sure that these two things don’t reveal too much about you. We’ll get into these and other fine points of privacy next time.

Thanks for reading and watching! Why not like us on our Facebook page? Here is the link:Computers Made Simple on Facebook.


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Facebook Privacy Settings – Video

How many times have we shown you how to adjust your privacy settings on Facebook? Lots of times. You can never know too much, right? Here’s a video that explains the current, March 2014, settings.

If you have questions or comments, let us know. Use the form below or, better yet, like us on our Facebook page. Here is the link:Computers Made Simple on Facebook.

Thanks for reading and watching!

Sneaky Facebook Apps – Part Two

This post is about the other side of Facebook apps, the side you probably don’t even know about. Here’s the scoop. When you add an app, it asks for certain permissions. One of those permissions is access to your personal information. Did you know that Facebook shares your information with apps even if you don’t use those apps? Unless you say no, Facebook share your personal data with apps that your friends use. Here’s how to limit this theft of your private details.

1. Same as yesterday, go to the top right corner of any Facebook page, click the down arrow and choose Settings. Next, click Apps. On the page that comes up, look for this section underneath the list of apps that you use:

Photo of Limit App Invasion   1
‘Apps others use’ is where we are headed today.





2. This is what you see next. Remember that these are not even apps that you use, just apps that your friends use:

Photo of Limit App Invasion   2
Make sure all of these are unchecked.








Make sure you uncheck everything on this menu. Everything. Don’t be surprised that you didn’t know about all of this. Facebook tends to hide such things, hoping you won’t be able to find them. That’s why we’re here.

Facebook tells you that sharing all of this data is to ‘make their experience better and more social’. What do you think? How will letting an app know everything you share with Facebook make things better for your friend’s Facebook experience? It won’t. All this does is give advertisers a fuller picture of your friend’s friends…in other words you!

Not only does Facebook hide the fact that foreign apps use your data, they penalize you for trying to increase your privacy. Sure, you can turn off all Platform apps but ‘you will not be able to use any games or apps yourself’. To us, this seems downright petty. Let us know what you think about all of this.

Thanks for reading! Comments, questions, suggestions are all welcomed. Use the form at the bottom or Like our Facebook page. Here’s the link: Computers Made Simply on Facebook