Get antisocial to protect your data. · 2018-04-12 13:50 by Tom Woolford
The Facebook/data scraping controversy train rumbles on, and it’s not stopping anytime soon.Given the Zuck’s performance in Washington, there are still plenty of questions to answer. We’re keeping close tabs, and we’re committed to helping you keep your data out of Facebook’s grabby little hands.
The post-scandal knee-jerk reaction for many people was to delete their Facebook profile. Seeing how cavalier large companies are with data, it’s understandable. Yet, it’s akin to closing the door after the horse has bolted. It’s also a very bold move, and for many people it isn’t an option, as Facebook is life. As it’s so hard to delete Facebook entirely, Adblock Plus is here to keep your data safer without losing precious social activity.
Let’s talk about social media sharing buttons. Facebook, Twitter and Google all have them. They’re everywhere, and they look kind of innocent. They’re also pretty useful as they let you share stuff to social media with no effort. Unfortunately, they also send your data straight to the social networks. Even worse, you don’t have to click them for this to happen. As you look at the page, they send requests to the social network’s servers, whether you click or not. By doing this, social networks create a profile based on your browsing habits. It’s one of the main ways that companies like Facebook are able to grab your juicy private data.
The BBC puts it this way “If it’s even possible to tot up how many buttons are out there on the web, expect a number in the hundreds of millions – that’s hundreds of millions of pages with which Facebook is tracking your activity beyond its own borders.”
Even thinking about it makes me feel a little dirty. Luckily, Adblock Plus is on the case. We have a little-used, often-overlooked but VERY cool Social Media Buttons feature. This allows you to block a lot of Facebook (and other social network) tracking when browsing the web. We update this feature a lot (we beefed up our blocking filters 18 percent since last year) and we’d like you to try it out.
To block social buttons, click here, then click “open this dialogue.” You can also click here, then click “Subscribe: Fanboy’s Social Blocking List.” Here is a browser-specific guide for installation if you’re still having trouble… Of course, you can also subscribe to new filterlists like this one in the Options menus within the ABP extension.
Now, blocking social buttons doesn’t stop tracking on Facebook.com or the Facebook app. Unfortunately we can’t control what goes on in their “walled garden.” The only way to stop on-site tracking is to delete Facebook. That doesn’t mean that all is lost. Adblock Plus helps you on Facebook by blocking annoying and malicious ads. We had a bit of a cat-and-mouse game with Facebook ads, but we’ve now been blocking their ads since September 2017.
So now you know. On Facebook or off it, Adblock Plus has your back. Get it here (if you haven’t already!).