Consumer Watch: How to protect your information on Facebook

Facebook knows more about you than you probably realize.

The social media site gets a lot of info from other apps on our phone. You may be concerned about where that data goes.

It's something Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg once addressed on Capitol Hill.

"I think everyone should have control over how their information is used," Zuckerberg said.

About a month ago, Facebook introduced what it calls "Off-Facebook Activity" settings.

"What Facebook ultimately decided to do was give you a menu where you could see the last six months of updates that the company has received from third parties," says Thomas Germain, Consumer Reports Tech Editor. "You can also go in and use a tool called "clear history." That doesn't actually delete your information, but it disconnects it from your account."

As of now, there's no way to stop the company from collecting your "Off-Facebook" data in the first place.

But for some peace of mind, there is a way to limit what Facebook does with any new data going forward.

"There's another setting called "Manage Future Activity" and if you use this, you can essentially keep your history cleared by default," Germain said. "Other companies will keep sending Facebook information, but they won't be able to use it for targeted advertising and they won't keep it tied to your account."

Turning off this setting will disable the "Facebook Login" tool, which lets you sign in to other apps and websites using your Facebook account.

"So, in a way, you are trading privacy for convenience, but for you, that might be worth it," Germain said.
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