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Wednesday, March 28, 2018

Checking what Facebook sends out about you

With all the public fuss about Facebook's free and easy way of sharing your private information -- and the private information of your Facebook friends' -- it is a good idea to find out exactly what Facebook knows about you.  And it is easier than it might look.  And when you go through the process, you will find that the Facebook robots are surprisingly cooperative.

On your Facebook home page, go up to the top righthand corner, and you will see a small downward-pointing arrow.  Click on this, and you will get a drop down menu.

Second to bottom, right above "Log Out" you will see "Settings."  Click on this.

Then choose "General" from the menu that comes up.  You will find your basic profile information, with a message right at the bottom, saying "download a copy" of your data.  Hit this, and you will get a message saying the robot will collect your archive, and it will come to you attached to an email.

It doesn't take long to arrive, in the form of a zip file.  Download this, and save it, as it will lapse if you do not.  Then go through it.  Interesting stuff -- the ads that are aimed at you, for instance.

Going back to the "settings" menu to do some tinkering and editing is a worthwhile exercise.  For instance, you can edit the apps area.  By the side of each icon you will see a pencil, and hitting this allows you to stop the app from publicizing every time you use it, or you can remove the app altogether.

Have fun.

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