Category Archives: facebook

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Opt out of Facebook ads using Custom Audiences

Facebook 150x150 logoA new tool (expected to launch later this month) for Facebook advertisers is allowing companies to track you and your non-Facebook browsing habits. The new tool is an extension of Facebook Custom Audiences tool which will allow advertisers to track you outside of Facebook.

Ever noticed ads following you from website to website or from app to app? I have. I’ve noticed ads that appear to follow me to Facebook from websites I visited and apps I use. Look for a “About this ad” button. You can click the “About this ad” button (let me know if you don’t see this button) which will provide information on the advertiser who is tracking you.

You can also opt out of seeing any future ads from that advertiser. Also, you might have an option to click a URL to the page which will provide the opt out option from Custom Audiences (this is the cross-website tracking tool). Please let me know what you find, if you use this opt out feature.

Custom Audiences cross-website tracking will have to be opted out of on every browser (as Custom Audiences uses browser tracking cookies) you use and that includes, mobiles, tablets and computers. NOTE: Don’t clear your cookies otherwise you will have to do this again.

Posted in facebook, privacy | Tagged , | 3

Limit audience for old posts on your Facebook Timeline

Facebook 150x150 logoFacebook has removed the Timeline search privacy feature “Who can look up your Timeline by name”. The removal of this feature was started in 2012, with people who were not using the “Who can look me up?” privacy setting. This setting allows you to hide from searches performed by anyone who is not a friend or friends of friends.

Facebook claimed few people used it. This setting though, only applied to Search, so if anyone wanted to find my name in a Facebook post they could jump to my Timeline. I was one who does use this feature, but not this feature is no longer available to me. This move, is all to do with the new Graph Search tool, which is claimed will allow Facebook users more natural language searches. Graph Search doesn’t work well if “Who can look up your Timeline by name” is enabled. This search improvement helps you the user but it also provides valuable profile analytics to Facebook. After all, they need to monetize from you as you are using a free service, and not forgetting they are also a US stock market trading company.

What should you do?

Posted in facebook, privacy | Tagged , | 0

Android app permissions using App Ops [not 4.4]

Android_app_ops

UPDATE 15/11/13: Android 4.4 KitKat doesn’t support App ops. The code has been removed in this build [KRT16M]. Therefore, if you decide to upgrade to Android 4.4 KitKat and you want to use shortcut apps such as those mentioned in this post, App ops will not work.

App ops is a hidden app permission feature in Android 4.3 that was discovered late last month. App Ops allows users to disable app specific permissions after install. We’ve reviewed App ops and believe you could utilize this hidden feature right now. It’s also expected that Google will allow uses to manage app permissions on install, but this is still to be confirmed. See bootnote.

We used Activity Launcher (available from the Play Store), which launches hidden activities and creates a home screen shortcut for installed apps. This is the easiest method of finding the hidden ‘App ops’. You don’t need root/super user privilege to use this app.

  • Download and install Activity Launcher
  • Tap > Activity Launcher icon and click the drop down top left > All activities
  • Scroll down to > Settings (tap arrow down to open the settings list)
Posted in android, facebook, google, mobile, privacy | Tagged , | 0

Facebook removes Timeline search privacy setting

Facebook 150x150 logoFacebook is removing the feature “Who can look up your Timeline by name”. The removal of this feature was started last year, with people who were not using the “Who can look me up?” privacy setting. This setting allows you to hide from searches performed by anyone who is not a friend or friends of friends.

Facebook claimed few people used it. This setting though, only applied to Search, so if anyone wanted to find my name in a Facebook post they could jump to my Timeline. I was one who does use this feature, so it’s still enabled for me as of now but over the next couple of weeks I will see a reminder that it will be removed.

This move, is all to do with the new Graph Search tool, which is claimed will allow Facebook users more natural language searches. Graph Search doesn’t work well if “Who can look up your Timeline by name” is enabled. This search improvement helps you the user but it also provides valuable profile analytics to Facebook. After all, they need to monetize from you as you are using a free service, and not forgetting they are also a US stock market trading company.

Posted in facebook, malware, privacy | Tagged , , | 0

Google personal identifier could replace cookies

firefox_IE_explorer logoThe cookie debate refuses to go away. Advertisers don’t want to see the demise of cookies for obvious reasons but privacy advocates on the other hand want a stronger Do Not Track (DNT) policy. The DNT initiative is endorsed by the US Federal Trade Commission (FTC) and the privacy setting is already available on Firefox, IE and Safari. Chrome users would need to download and use an official DNT add-on.

Many reputable companies have joined the DNT initiative (including Twitter and Facebook), which means if you enable DNT on any well known browsers i.e. Chrome, Firefox or IE, Twitter and Facebook will stop collecting cookie data from you. There are though some issues with the DNT implementation. It’s up to the ad networks as to whether they action the DNT=1 HTTP header command. I also haven’t seen any visual indication on any browsers as to whether a website supports the DNT feature, so this is a little unclear on how or whether users will use or more importantly understand this feature.

NOTE: Chrome does not block cookies whereas Firefox and IE10 uses the DNT option.

Posted in browser, facebook, google, privacy, windows | Tagged | 0