Facebook Is Watching And Tracking You More Than You Probably Realize

from USAToday

Whenever you’re on Facebook, do you ever get the feeling that you’re being watched? An ad pops up that’s right up your alley, or three new articles show up in your feed that are similar to something you’ve just clicked on.

Sometimes it seems like Facebook knows you personally, and that’s because it does. It has algorithms that track what you like, watch and click on. Facebook uses this information to target ads to users on behalf of advertisers.

Facebook itself isn’t the only culprit. Tons of companies use Facebook’s platform as a way to track you. In fact, right now there a probably dozens of companies that are watching your posts, storing your profile information and more, without you even realizing it. Today, I’m going to tell you how to stop it.

More here.

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54 Responses to Facebook Is Watching And Tracking You More Than You Probably Realize

  1. Kaitlyn McCluskey October 6, 2016 at 4:36 pm #

    I remember when Facebook came into my life…I was pretty young but it was such an incredible platform for people to connect. And aside from staying connected, all of the games and surveys were so much fun. And even though I am not very involved in the Facebook world, I know that most people still are, usually in the older generations. Regardless, anyone who uses Facebook knows that there are a lot of times where Facebook requests access to some of your information but says that it won’t publish any of it. I usually allow access because if it is not going to be published then what’s the harm? But after reading this article, I can understand that once you grant them permission, your information is there information. And the article is right in saying most of the time people don’t edit the information that they are requesting. I really did not even realize how dangerous this is until just now.
    Another section that points out when companies are tracking you through Facebook is when it gives the option to sign in with Facebook information. To be honest, before reading this article I always thought that they give you this option to skip the step of having to create a new account for a new website. Even though it does make the process simpler, it is giving Facebook more access to your personal information. It is completely worth the extra minute it takes to create a new account with a platform instead of logging in with Facebook.
    The fact that you don’t even have to download an app for it to have the ability to see you information is what stands out to me the most. To be honest, I can’t even figure out how companies and businesses even have the tools and abilities to be able to get this much information. And I was still kind of confused as to why they would even need it. But the article explains that hackers can take small pieces of information and make it into bigger “gains”. It is terribly scary and unsafe for people’s information to be out there through so many different ways.
    I thought, for the most part, all of my social media was private and I figured I did what I could to keep my information between me and the people that I accept to be my friend on Facebook and various other social media platforms. I guess I was wrong. There are so many ways for, not only hackers, but companies to access my information. I don’t feel comfortable having Facebook “watch” me and so I am definitely going to change up my privacy settings and watch what I grant access to. I wish that more people could be more aware of the dangers of putting your information out there on the internet. I know that a lot of people are aware of the basics like the dangers in sharing your location…but I can almost guarantee that most people don’t know about the other ways their information can be accessed.

  2. Daniel Cooper October 6, 2016 at 6:49 pm #

    Facebook is the most popular social media network on the internet today. When I got Facebook page, I used it because I thought I was cool thing to have. This allowed you to communicate with all of your “friends” whenever you wanted. Kids including myself would do the “like for a truth is” post. Then my newsfeed would come up with the shoes you were just looking up or the football jersey at a discounted rate. Then you ask yourself does Facebook watch everything you do? The answer may surprise you but they are. They track you to put the proper advertisements in your news feed. There are three ways Facebook is sneaky tracking you. The first way Facebook decides to track you through the apps that seem like a lot of fun to play. The information that is being watch by Facebook is not only going to them; it is going to a third party server. The security of these companies could be very insecure. The information is at risk. In the setting all of the information will not be removed but you change some information the server will not get the new information.
    Another way Facebook decides to follow you is when you used the Facebook logins for other websites. This is giving permission for the Facebook to follow you in everything that you are doing. What is even scarier then you allowing Facebook to follow? How scary is that what your friends are doing on Facebook could be tracking you? People do not know that signing into Facebook on something is affecting themselves but what is worse is that Facebook is following their friends too. This is new to me about Facebook could follow my friend when I do something. I am not surprise that I see stuff that I was looking at on other websites. I know has to do with cookies. Facebook stalking my friends as well as me scares me.
    Who is following me because I have no idea what other people are using Facebook for? This could be affecting me by advertising I have no desire for. Facebook could be looking at anything I do. I know a popular thing to do is to post your location. In my opinion that is the stupidest thing a person could do. That is giving some the ability to find you or give them the opportunity to rob your house. That’s why I do not share my location with any app. The fact that Facebook is allowed to do this. I would assume that this should be stalking. I believe that the only reason it is not is because the process of the login give the company the right and legal standard to follow everything you do. I would suggest making sure your account is complete private. I would stop and get rid all of the apps that ask for a Facebook login like Candy Crush and Subway Surfers. Sharing this information with everyone you know should hopefully make them want to get rid of these apps also. They will make their own Facebook private and not allow it follow their friends.

  3. Valerie Natter October 6, 2016 at 8:46 pm #

    I think that Facebook being able to track a person on other sites is very creepy. Yes, they can track what you do on their site, but other ones? That seems wrong and like an invasion of privacy. It seems like there should be a law against this, and frankly I’m surprised that there isn’t one already. Many times I’ll be on a website for example shopping for clothes. Later that day I will see advertisements on Facebook for the same clothing I was looking at earlier that day. This even happens if I am looking at this clothing site on my computer it will later pop up as an advertisement on my phone or vice versa. I am definitely going to think about changing settings on my Facebook so that this happens less.

  4. Dean Falcone October 7, 2016 at 11:51 am #

    In today’s digital age, privacy is always under scrutiny. Government officials’ private emails and computers have been tapped into, so it’s not hard to see that the average person is subject to that as well. Most people make it quite easy for a breach of security to happen with all the personal information posted throughout the internet. The rise of social media in the past decade has contributed to making our personal information, public. It does not matter which platform is used, we are exposing ourselves to everyone.
    The problem that Facebook users have been facing comes from the tracking of their history. At first, Facebook was completely ad-free. That obviously did not last too long, considering I never remembered Facebook being without ads. Now with ads taking over all empty space on the webpage, it makes sense how advertisers are working. By tracing what blogs are read, photos are liked and websites visited, third party advertising groups gain information on our shopping preferences. By using that information, they can more accurately target their advertisements towards us. It does seem like an unethical means, but I oddly enough find benefits to it.
    Since we do see ads all over Facebook anyway, I want to see some that are relevant to me. I do not want to see generalized advertisements catered to people over the age of 50. At least with knowledge of my browsing history and Facebook activity, I will see something that could be of use to me. As opposed to T.V. advertising, where the ads are based upon the program’s audience, Facebook will actually have everyone personalized. Since most people do not find individualized ads as helpful, stopping them is pretty easy. Anything that says sign in with Facebook is clearly not a brilliant idea. Not only does it appear on the timeline frequently, it may annoy someone’s friends by requesting something off them constantly. Signing in with Facebook leads them to all the information that has been collected to now be visible to that app.
    From my personal experience, I think Facebook has lost a lot of its popularity among millennials. The rise of other apps like Twitter, Instagram and Snapchat have definitely been the cause behind that. In my high school, Facebook was seen as childish and once parents and grandparents invaded, it was more a reason not to use it. By the time I got to college in 2014, I did not think Facebook was going to be relevant at all. The only reason I have for using it is because of our club rugby page and group chat we have. Without them I would have deleted all m information and deactivated my account a long time ago. That does not mean that all my worries about privacy and hacking would have disappeared with it, other social media apps are aims too. Third party advertisers are still working on other platforms.
    On Instagram, it is rather creepy all the videos and posts suggested for me. By using an algorithm based off of the posts and accounts I interact with, they chose what I might want to see. Privacy will continue to be in the forefront of parents concerns. This may be due to the fact that their kids are posting things that should not be shared or because there are groups looking to gain for information on our everyday lives. Whatever the reasoning behind it is, we have to be smart with what and how we post. Just assume that everything that gets posted will be seen by everyone, despite the “privacy settings” that you set up.

  5. Justin Scherzo October 7, 2016 at 12:32 pm #

    Facebook has become such a big part of our society. There have been countless numbers of ads for it and it even has its own movie, which details its creation. Facebook allows us to connect with friends and family members, share interesting videos and ideas, to see what is going on in the world, and a whole lot more. I was a late bloomer when it comes to Facebook usage. I preferred AIM and Blackberry messenger to stay connected with my friends back in middle school. I finally ended up making a Facebook and really only wanted to use it to see how my high school friends are doing and what is going on in their lives. I really do not use it now but once and a while will scroll through my feed to see what’s going on. I am usually triggered to do this when my phone blows up telling me how many notifications I have.
    When you are going through Facebook there will be popups to show you who you may want to friend request. When I was first using the app I did not know how Facebook knew that I knew all of these people. Now as I read through this article I have a much better understanding. It seems like Facebook knows all these people I know because they are all in my phone contacts. If I were to go through my contacts and look, I am sure that Facebook has them as people that I may know. I do not ever remember authorizing them to use my contact but I am sure that it was in the fine print somewhere. Facebook is actually dangerous because they had all of this information on me that I did not even know.
    This article also talks about how when you login with Facebook into other apps, these other apps sometimes are allowed to pull information on you and what you like. I knew companies like Amazon did this because I would always see baseball bats popup on the side of my screen with an Amazon sponsorship. I continually would login through Facebook into other apps because I did not want to make an account for hundreds of apps. Now, I may have been better off taking the time and making different accounts for these apps. The article poses alternatives like turning off apps, which may be a good idea. As the world becomes more and more dependent upon the cyber world, it is important to keep your information safe from potential hackers.
    I though since my account was on private this meant that my information was kept private. Reading this article has shown a completely different light on this subject. Facebook is constantly watching and monitoring you, and having you account as private does little to nothing. I do not think that I have enough meaningful information on Facebook but this could be a big problem for other people. This reading has shown me the power Facebook possesses and the potential dangers that you could run into by using it.

  6. Jason Salazar October 7, 2016 at 12:57 pm #

    Many people have issues with their privacy nowadays. Facebook is one of the most popular social media sites that people around the world go on today. I created a Facebook profile a few years ago. It was something many of my friends had and something we used to talk to each other. I would always get ads on my newsfeed of what I was searching about. I always wondered how they knew whatever I searched about but never really thought in depth of it. The article shows how companies like Facebook are actually tracking you. Facebook has apps that if you take part of the app can track you. Whenever we receive invites to an app from a friend and we end up signing up for it, which is where the app can start tracking you. That is something that is scary knowing that you can be tracked through an app. I would have never thought that they actually do these things. There are some sites where it asks you to log in with Facebook and if you do it lets the company track you. I have done this multiple times and did not think it was a big deal. Now knowing these companies put it out there so they are able to track us is very sneaky. Another way they can monitor you is by your friends apps. The setting you have set up for Facebook might allow the apps your friends have installed to also see you. But I start to wonder why do they actually do all of this? What is their real intention and what does it do to us? The article gives us some ways we can make sure they can stop tracking us. It tells us to see what apps we have installed and make sure the default is set to “only me” so nobody else can see it. You can also try to remove all the apps you do not use anymore. It will limit the apps that can actually track you. People can also turn off all the apps. They also need to stop logging into sites using Facebook. This is something I do a lot and was not aware of any of this. Another way is to stop letting your friends apps get access to you. You can change all of this in the settings of Facebook. I think this is something that people with big privacy issues would be worried about. I get that it can be scary that they are monitoring you but at the same time I do not see what affect it does on people. Sure some say it can be a form of stalking or invasion of privacy but if it is on Facebook I think people would be able to see it anyways. I for one do not have any problems with this because I have not come up with an issue with it. I know many who read this article might be mad at the fact that Facebook has this option to do this with your account.

  7. Matthew Marinella October 7, 2016 at 2:20 pm #

    Facebook has had an amazing impact on life as we know it today. Billions of people are on and connected to Facebook. A person from China has the capability of sharing a video or sending me a message from Facebook. Along with that, all of those people logged into Facebook have countless amounts of personal information. There is information on our likes and dislikes and all of this data is sold to companies so they can target market. It is pretty amazing to think of the business strategy by Facebook which is why I think it is justified that they sell this data.
    Facebook was a brilliant idea right from the start. That is the reason it is such a big success all around the world. It is a way to basically get an insight on what is happening in everyone’s life. You can see family vacations, how someone’s day went, or even get invited to an event in the future through the website. Now this outline helped Facebook become so popular but is not what necessarily would help it sustain production. I think the idea of selling information and data is a genius business plan. Companies go crazy over data and information. That is how they develop marketing techniques and reach out to new customers. By knowing what I am clicking on and by seeing the types of things that I am interested in will significantly help a company’s marketing efforts.
    Despite all of this, it is completely understandable to not want to be tracked. Facebook doesn’t make it extremely clear that you are being tracked. But, there is things you can do in order to stop or prevent being tracked in the future. This is another reason why I believe it is okay for Facebook to sell your information. If you are uncomfortable or do not want that then it is your responsibility to stop it. Facebook is not stopping you from protecting your own information. However, if they did prevent you from being able to protect your info then in that case I would claim that what they are doing is unethical. Almost everything we sign up for electronically comes with and electronic contract in which you are required to sign for access. Not many people bother to read what this contract outlines. This protects Facebook from people being upset by the selling of data. At the end of the day they agreed to the contract and by that are signing saying they agree to the conditions. Although, the business technique is a little sneaky it is not immoral. At the end of the day, they have your approval of their techniques based upon your signature.
    The biggest issue I have with this whole scenario is hackers. They are capable hacking all of this personal information and do harmful things. These include things such as fraud or taking credit card numbers. More people need to be aware of the hazards that can occur with the internet, especially Facebook. This is your personal life and information that is accessible through your fingertips. People need to be careful of what they post and what they sign up for. Data is being collected every day. This data is molding our business world today. People have direct access to peoples’ needs and wants, and Facebook are the genius cashing in on it.

  8. Joe Murdaco October 7, 2016 at 5:31 pm #

    The idea of “Big Data” is very intriguing for my generation because businesses can do so much more than previous years. They can reach customers all the way across the country in a matter of milliseconds. Businesses can now do their work overseas without any problems. One of the biggest things that these companies do is create algorithms that allow them to predict what customers might buy. Also, companies can access all of your information without you even knowing. Of course, the privacy settings can be changed so that this doesn’t happen but a lot of people do not know that is possible. After reading this article, I am tempted to log on to Facebook and change all of the settings to stop companies from being able to get my information.
    I personally do not use Facebook as much as my friends and family. Not using Facebook makes reading this article a lot worse because companies can access my information even if my friends download an app. This is bad because I would never know since I do not use the site. The fact that third-party sites get my information from Facebook seems illegal but I guess it is not. There isn’t much use for websites to know my address if they are never going to mail me anything so some information is not necessary to give. What really bothered me in this article was when it talked about hackers. Although hackers do not necessarily target individuals like me, it would still be easy for them too.
    Hackers can steal the information from a company easily especially smaller third-party sites like the ones we download the apps from. We see major companies like Target get hacked often so that goes to show that it is extremely easy for someone to hack our computers and get vital information like social security numbers. If someone gets that information they could ruin our lives by also getting our bank account information and other information that keeps our identity secret. I do not like that they can get our information from our friends on Facebook. My mom uses the sire regularly and I know she plays a lot of games. This means that every time she downloads an app, she is allowing other sites access to everything that I have ever done online without my knowledge. It is ridiculous that this is legal and that most people do not know this is happening to them daily.
    I think that everyone should be told this is happening to them even if it is in the contract that is sent to us when we log into the site. No one actually reads the long documents that are sent to us. We just click the button that says we accept the terms and conditions without actually looking at any of the words on it. It should be made clearer that other sites are gathering our information when apps are downloaded. Also, the settings to change the privacy should be made easier to find. I looked on Facebook after reading this article and it took a while to find out how this is changed.

  9. Joseph Padula October 7, 2016 at 5:33 pm #

    One of the major reasons why I never wanted to get a Facebook when I was younger was simply because I didn’t want everyone knowing what I was doing and when I was doing it. How ironic to think now that everything I do is tracked either by a social media platform or by my smartphone’s location tracking capabilities. These are the consequences of the individuals in our world being so dependent on their electronic devices. Something I have learned to accept at a young age was that we were living in the world of technology and if someone really wanted to find you or figure out your tendencies there would be no problem finding them.

    This article illustrates that perfectly due to the fact Facebook is using their platform to find your interests and hobbies and advertise accordingly. They are able to do these devious acts because every user was forced to accept a Terms and Conditions Document, the large majority of the people didn’t even read, allowing them these privileges to the user’s personal information and account. Also due to something called big data, which are extremely large data sets that may be analyzed computationally to reveal patterns, trends, and associations, especially relating to human behavior and interactions. Big data always platforms like Facebook to learn from the things you ‘like’ or ‘heart’ or ‘tweet’ and learn to provide you with more things of those things you are interested in. In some cases one could assume big data knows more about the individual then an individual knows about themselves.

    In addition to that being exposed to the technological world through a different perspective in my Leadership Honors Development Program, I was able to get a leg up on the large portion of our population that is just learning about these baffling accounts. Technology is consuming our lives and the only way to beat it is to embrace it. Understanding as a user that your information is going to be out with systems such as big data and other data analyzing mechanisms is essential to use it to your advantage. Even though this article is trying to provide you with ways to stop these things from happening its inevitable. The soon you learn that, the better. By taking a business approach to it you must predict try and predict the next big thing to get ahead, like my professors always say. Since I am a finance major, unlike 20 years ago, finance isn’t just understand the market and being good at numbers, it is becoming much more. Because of this to ensure the likelihood of receiving a job after college I must broadening my skills base. For the simply reason to be appealing to companies I have picked up Information technology course and seek to have a certificate in supply chain management. Not only am I doing this for better opportunity to get a job but I am doing this for myself due to the fact that with this knowledge I will be able to use technology for my advantage not the other way around.

    Although it is alarming to realize someone or something is watching your ever move on your device or computer, I believe that is just one of the consequences we have to live with to be able to be globally connected. However, there are some consequences such as the ones clearly pointed out in this article, I do believe that the benefits far way out the faults.

  10. Jalal Zahir October 7, 2016 at 6:32 pm #

    There are two major trends from my childhood that I am glad to have never taken part in. The first one is too vulgar to mention on such an educational platform, but the second one is that I have never created a Facebook. During my middle school years my classmates went on Facebook like it was a religious requirement. People would check up on it between classes. They would constantly update their own profile and statuses and would constantly check to see if others did the same. What someone posted on Facebook would be the talk of the cafeteria table each day as each day people would change something about themselves on that site. Looking back at it I am very pleased that I never made a Facebook because it was, objectively, a waste of everyone’s time. See other people’s profiles or pictures from their vacation did/does not bring any value to my classmate’s life and people only went on it as a means to pass the time. They could have spent their time doing more productive things but instead they decided to waste it all on social media. That is the world we live in today. Everyone wants to be connected to all their friends all the time at the click of a button. Fewer of my colleagues now use Facebook, but that does not change the fact it is still extremely popular today. A Pew study concluded that 82% of young adults use Facebook today (https://www.modolabs.com/blog-post/social-media-use-among-college-students-and-teens-whats-in-whats-out-and-why/). Facebook has become less popular in this country as people are substituting it with other more instant social media platforms like Twitter, Instagram, and Snapchat. With the rise in social media, people are craving more and more instant gratification and real time updates from their friends and followers. Twitter and Instagram lets its users give their instant feedback and reactions to current event topics, so more people have drifted toward those platforms and have substituted them for Facebook. Still, in foreign markets Facebook is still the primary and dominant social media platform. All my cousins that reside in Pakistan all use Facebook and have no other social media platforms. Facebook is still the largest social media outlet in the world. An estimated 1.13 billion people use Facebook on a daily basis (https://www.statista.com/statistics/346167/facebook-global-dau/). With that many daily users Facebook has an astronomical amount of information. Facebook has access to billions of photos, email addresses, phone numbers, personal home addresses and much more. With so much information people are worried about whether or not Facebook is properly maintaining and keeping track of all this information without invading people’s privacy. Facebook claims that privacy is its number one concern. Facebook CEO and founder Mark Zuckerberg has always claimed Facebook is doing everything it can to maintain people’s privacy and that Facebook will always keep the privacy of its users at the foreground of any changes in the company. But, anyone who uses the website, knows that this is simply untrue.
    Facebook is watching and monitoring you. It tracks all your movements on the website and off of it. That is why all of the ads on Facebook are customized. If you recently browsed the internet for cheap winter boots, then the next time you go on Facebook you will see banner ads selling cheap winter boots. Facebook is not the only company that does this, unfortunately, the practice of tracking its users has become popular for all social media companies across all platforms. Last week I was searching the Chinese based company AliBaba’s website for some jackets. The next day on Instagram I saw an ad for AliBaba that displayed jackets similar to the ones I had been looking at. This is not a mere coincidence. Companies have used Facebook as the medium to track customer’s spending habits in order to pinpoint just what items they are most likely to buy next. Personally, I am torn about this issue. Part of me understands why companies would do such a thing. Tracking users will increase information about their spending habits, and using that companies can customize advertisements for them, increasing profits. Part of me even enjoys the idea of customizable ads. I would much rather view an ad for something I might actually want rather than a video game I have no interest in downloading. But, I am torn because I am a big advocate for privacy. Companies shouldn’t be allowed to track your personal information, because it is your own personal information. Companies like Facebook are also constantly monitoring your activities, whether or not you are actually on their website. It’s collecting information on every music video you watch, everything you Google search, every post you like on Instagram. It’s the same thing as having a stenographer walking around recording everything you look at or do. That is why I always use incognito mode when I search things up. Call me paranoid, but I do not want the government watching over me constantly mining data about me. John Oliver, TV host of HBO’s Last Week Tonight, did a great piece on government surveeillance (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=XEVlyP4_11).
    Ever since Edward Snowden released the information to the American public that the NSA is collecting data on everyone constantly, privacy has been at the forefront of political issues in this country. Facebook has not been doing their part in regards to privacy. Not only do they actively track users, but them allowing other companies to track users through its platform is a violation of every citizen’s right to privacy.

  11. Edward Vestergaard October 7, 2016 at 7:03 pm #

    Since the dawn of Facebook in 2004, social media has taken the world by storm. Snapchat, Instagram, Twitter…these are just a few examples that keep billions of people in touch on a daily basis. Prior to the social-networking frenzy, communicating was done largely over the phone or through email and Instant Messaging (IM). Despite its effectiveness, these means were not entirely satisfactory for those living long distance. Merely hearing a voice or reading a message felt rather impersonal- especially the latter- because a visual aspect was lacking Sight, more so than you’d think, plays a key role in maintaining relationships. Whereas a call or email can made from virtually anywhere, being in the physical presence of someone is personal. Seeing and interacting with someone elicits emotion on a scale far greater than the aforementioned alternatives. Facebook realized this need and formatted its sight to allow for pictures and videos. Essentially, visuals allow for memories- or general moments- to be shared and enjoyed by friends and family. Therefore in today’s society, connecting has never been so simple.

    On the right-hand side of one’s Facebook “wall” advertisements are typically seen displaying this, that, and the other. Like many websites, Facebook sells marketing space to companies to offset expenses and pay salaries. Interestingly though, these ads are not random. Using a complicated algorithm, Facebook can determine one’s interests by what videos he/she watches or articles he/she reads, thereby offering suggestions for similar posts. This brilliant tactic is truly a win-win-win: Facebook earns money from sales, thus allowing a company to effectively engage its target audience, and thus allowing the user to see relevant and interesting content. However, just how much information does Facebook, along with other companies, have on us…are we seriously being tracked? As it turns out, we are. Every status update, post or “Like,” could be monitored and stored away for future reference. Creepy? Hell yeah, but so goes the pursuit of business. Even resisting the urge to click on an ad doesn’t ensure complete safety, as companies find other, sneakier ways to pry information from people.

    Sometimes, a notification will appear regarding a game one’s friend has recently played; goading that individual to beat their score. Equally annoying as a “poke,” most will not give in to such childishness…but some do. Signing up for the game entitles the developer to your personal info, including “work history to timeline posts” (Komando). Additionally, be wary of sites that ask to “Log in with Facebook.” Although seemingly innocent, by logging in via Facebook, that company now has an opportunity to track one’s activity and information. Logically, the best way to prevent this from occurring is to use a separate account specific to that company. Chances are this account is minimally personalized aside from basic information, as opposed to the highly personal Facebook account. Lastly, and most worryingly, is the notion that uninstalled apps- which are instead installed by friends- can obtain one’s information too. Popular apps that have thousands, potentially millions of users store an incredible amount of personal data, making it a target for hackers. If successful, hackers can sell personal data to opportunists looking to steal one’s identity. In conclusion, the author, Kim Komando, suggests that everyone review and edit installed apps- limiting what can be seen and by whom- and delete apps not generally used.

  12. Sahnera Spruill October 7, 2016 at 7:28 pm #

    There are so many positive factors that derive from Facebook. Most of which directly correlate to having an account. For example, with the number of big business there are on Facebook, sometimes people are lucky and land a job on Facebook. Another example is how spending time on social media tends to boost self-esteem. People love being fed compliments under pictures they post and love to see that notification that says “John Doe likes your picture”. Facebook can be good for investments as it gets people familiar and can expand horizons. It can increase productivity since there are so many educational benefits on Facebook. Anyone can get a good laugh from watching videos or reading funny post and then the most important of all is obviously the communication and networking that takes place. These are all the same benefits of just about every other social media network, if used correctly. With all pros, there are cons and the cons of using Facebook are also significant. If used incorrectly Facebook can be time consuming and addictive, it can actually be anti-social, little cyber bullies can use it as a weapon, and people can have their privacy completely violated.
    I haven’t been on Facebook in years but my grandmother has told me how she continuously sees ads for everything she needs right on Facebook. She believes it to be so convenient. Others like my grandmother may say the same, but those who aren’t, might find that to be rather creepy and disturbing. The video in this post says that this is called target marketing which makes a lot of sense. Businesses track what we post, who we follow, what we like and share to figure out what we may be interested in so that they can target us. I haven’t been on Facebook in years but I can say that these are the same circumstances that apply to Instagram. I scroll on my timeline on Instagram and notice that every ad is something that I’m interested in. The video on the post says that they learn information like this by getting access to our profiles and from us using Facebook to sign up for a website. But I think businesses on Instagram have a different approach to their stalker behavior. I believe Instagram keeps track of what other websites you simply put your email in. Literally every time I’m on a website, an ad for that same website or a website just like it later pops up on my timeline.
    The author of this post, Kim Komando, gave advice on how to prevent being tracked on Facebook by simply changing a few settings and logging in as a guest but I see no reason. I think ads popping up for things that I like or need are convenient, just like my grandmother. I think seeing ads from my favorite places like Mac, Fashion Nova and Zara is very helpful. They let me know about the sales and promos that are happening since I don’t check my email enough. That’s much better than seeing an ad coming from a car dealership or Sleepy’s Mattress proffesionals since they are irrelevant to my current interest. That’s business and I believe one day my business will be doing the same creepy stalking.

  13. Javon Diggs October 7, 2016 at 7:45 pm #

    Another day, another article about the dangers of the internet. In particular, it seems that social media has become the most discussed topic when it comes to internet dangers in recent times. It seems like everyday something new comes out about the potential risks that come with owning a social media account. Since it was first introduced, social media has taken the world by storm, with millions of people around the world owning an account. Facebook in particular has been around the longest, and as a result, is the most influential out of all of the websites. Its many features have set the precedents for the many social websites in use today, and it is important for people to start recognizing the many dangers these website present.

    Even before reading the article above, I had noticed that all of my social media accounts have begun to feature more “recommended” sections. The sites say that they recommend posts to me based on previous posts I have viewed and liked. At first, I did not think anything of it, and ignored it. However, after reading the article above, it now makes me a little uneasy about viewing anything using my account. I personally do not mind if they want to recommend posts bases strictly on things I do on that website only. However, I am not comfortable with these companies tracking my movements in other apps with connections to that site and sending my things based on what I do in other apps. This makes me very wary of the apps I have been carelessly using for years, and I’m seriously considering removing my accounts.

    It is safe to say that almost nobody would be comfortable with a random company saving their information without permission. As such, it is time for people to take precautions when it comes to using these websites. For starters, people need to stop putting all their information on these sites for the public to see. These websites have privacy settings for a reason, so people need to start utilizing them. Furthermore, you do not need to put all your information when signing up for these accounts, so you don’t need to give more out to the public. Also, stop signing up for other websites using an account from a different site (for example, linking your Facebook account with your Instagram account). The article also mentioned that people could delete any accounts that they don’t use, which is another good idea. Why give a company a chance to gain knowledge about you when you barely even use their website.

    The world of social media isn’t going away anytime soon. It has become a staple of today’s society. And it does have its benefits. It is a great way to meet new people and stay in contact with distant friends and loved ones. But it had its dangers too. It is time for people to recognize these faults and take the necessary precautions so they cannot be traced by anybody. They companies do not have the right to know anything about you that you don’t want them to know, so don’t give them the chance.

  14. Robert Andrew Luba October 7, 2016 at 7:50 pm #

    This article took a turn that I did not expect. Right in the beginning the article concerns itself with breaches in pricey. I am not one to sit idly by as a company over steps their boundaries and enters my life. Contrarily, I do not see what Facebook is doing as malicious as the author’s tone might imply.
    His argument about the actions of Facebook concerns their addition of new algorithms that can collect from what you click on what you may also like to click on. In my eyes, this is no different from other applications and websites that give you recommendations on what you may like to view next (i.e. YouTube). The authors problem seems to be with the fact that Facebook did not ask him whether or not he would have wanted this function. This is where I would begin to agree with him. I would say hat directing me to where I might want to go is good, but to do it in a way that tracks my interests and could possibly be saved without my permission is something I would want to avoid. My interest are my own, if I would like them released to Facebook to be interpreted by their algorithm, I am welcome to their proposal for it, but an automatic change without anyone’s assent is pushing boundaries.
    The author also makes a valid point by taking note that it is due to the unconsenting acquisitions of data that companies like Facebook do daily that leads to large scale data breaches by hacking groups. He mentions that hackers do not focus on single people so much as they do on the large clumps of data found in buildings used to store the data taken from individuals who are oblivious they are contributing to. The problem to be seen here is that Facebook users are entering into a gamble that they could not see. If they were assenting to data collection for the purpose of greater ease in finding their interests online, fully aware their data was being taken and could be stolen, that would be fine; however, due to the secrecy by tech companies who do collect data without making it clear, people are being victimized directly by the tech companies.
    On the contrary, I may also argue that when the author fights against the idea of Facebook introducing us to products we may find interesting through the use of ads, I could see the validity of that. Is the point of an ad not to direct a potential customer to a product they might find appealing. What Facebook does by customizing ads to users based on their interests is sifting through the inapplicable product ads and replacing them with potentially more effective ones that could lead to happier users.
    Users are attracted to translucency, it is something that gives them security and trust in their applications. By keeping news of data collection out of the main stream media, companies like Facebook are able to maintain happiness of their users. In the end of the day, before a product makes addition of new technologies like this, users should be made directly aware and asked permission on whether or not they would like to use them. By doing so Facebook and other tech companies can assure broad acceptance of new applications to their sites as well as greater happiness of their clientele by assuring their online security.

  15. Vannesa Martinez October 7, 2016 at 7:57 pm #

    This article reiterates what we have known to be true about social media – that nothing that says it is private is ever really private. I have had a Facebook ever since middle school and looking back on it now, I had no idea that my activity would be that closely monitored as to what I read, played, or watched. As I grew older I connected the pieces together that Facebook does keep in mind what I like or read because when I exit out of an article, For example, similar articles related to the topic will appear down below the article I just visited. For me, I just thought that information stayed with Facebook and that was it. Personally, it makes me a bit weary and question Facebook because not only can Facebook see my activity or what interest me, but also other companies. And what the article holds is true, that for the people that use Facebook “few realize they’re being tracked in other ways too. And, that’s what these third-party companies are banking on. If you don’t know you’re being tracked, then you won’t ask them to stop”. Facebook and third party companies obtain profits at the risk of letting them in on their users preferences and getting a hold on their profile and information to learn more about you. In one way, no matter how private we make our profiles, they will always be more public than we know them in actuality to be.
    I thought that the suggestions the article offered were helpful as well for the people to take some action and see how they do not want third party companies tracking their data usage anymore. Besides that, it also informs readers in what manner they are being tracked which is the most important aspect of the whole entire article. Essentially, not only third party companies could see you, but hackers could also attempt to get your information. In the news you hear companies get breaches on their internet security and will make you seriously question now just how really secure you are over the web. This day in age with the computer and intranet growing more advanced year by year, it is important that society informs itself of ways to keep their digital lives private and protected as well from malicious people. It is better to be informed and to take action on your behalf because social media nor third party companies will be seeing this as their first priority.
    Overall, it is also not only Facebook who engages in practices like this, but also other social media sites. People should be more conscious as to what they post or how to make their account more secure so other companies beside the primary social media site will be looking at their information. There should be tighter restrictions in place that give companies certain specifications as to how or if third party companies should have the right to obtain other users from other sites information. However, with the online web changing and adapting I am not sure if the government would do anything about this anytime soon.

  16. Cliff Nash October 7, 2016 at 8:14 pm #

    I’ve known for quite a while that Facebook and other social media websites, and just other websites in general, have been tracking what I click on or search for and put up specific ads in an attempt to catch my attention and make me frequent their website. This can be looked at from a number of different ways. First off people can think it is an invasion of privacy and not like what is happening, second they could think it is helpful and they enjoy having advertisements to something relevant in their life, or third they just ignore these ads and really do not care one way or another.
    The people that think this is an invasion of privacy have a very sound argument. They want to go on their personal computer and not have to worry about the fact that someone or something is watching them and keeping track of the things they search. They do not want to be tracked in any way. People already say the government is watching them and that they need to watch their back in every way possible because the government has an eye on them no matter what.
    The second group of people, the ones that feel it is very helpful and nice that the ads are targeted also have a sound argument. From time to time I fall into this group of people because I will see an ads that is promoting a game, a website, or some other product I have recently been interested in and will click on it. It makes things easy to find and it is always nice to have ads that are relevant to your life instead of having things that relate to you in no way and may just bother you more than anything. Personally I am a very big football fan. When I scroll through Facebook the ads shown are usually about articles pertaining to football. These include player trades, injuries, fines, score updates, or highlights. Personally I like when I get these ads because it helps me keep up to date on this sort of thing.
    The last group of people are the ones that do not fall victim to the ads you see on Facebook and will ignore them as though they are not there. These people may not even realize that the ads are targeting them specifically and they may just assume everyone is getting the same ads as they are.
    I understand why some people may want to turn off these ads because they could be viewed as an invasion of privacy because they are tracking exactly what you are looking up so that they can be more relatable. In my opinion, most people would want to leave them on because from time to time the ads can be helpful and let people find things they are looking for.

  17. Evan Byrnes October 8, 2016 at 12:31 pm #

    To be honest, this isn’t a surprise to me. The fact that Facebook and other social media sits have been tracking and storing our personal information is somewhat old news. Weirdly enough, it still hasn’t made me delete my account. I don’t really use my Facebook for more than checking to see who’s birthday it is, and whether or not they’re close enough to me to send them a text message, so I don’t pay too much attention to the ads or suggestions. I can however see how people feel that these ads are an invasion of privacy.

    When you leave an online store to go to Facebook, you’ll almost immediately see that website or an item on that website pop up on the side of your feed. You didn’t even need to give that online store any of your information, and yet Facebook was still able to see that you had previously visited that site and viewed that item. How can’t this been seen as an invasion of privacy? On the other hand, there are people who enjoy the feeling of having “personalized” ads on their Facebook. They feel that having these specific ads picked for them makes their page their own.

    Overall I believe that this argument will continue to grow as long as social media remains a major part of our lives (which I think it will). There are always going to be issues with privacy and sharing of personal information. I just hope that in the future we’re given the option.

  18. Liana Beharrysingh October 8, 2016 at 4:46 pm #

    Technology has been such a big part of our lives but sometimes we don’t realize how pertinent it is. We use social media sites such as Facebook to communicate with one another and stay in tune with the world’s events however, our information is so easily accessible. Since third-party companies can easily gather our information from not just our Facebook accounts but also other apps that we use, we must ask ourselves: How secure are our lives? Although this may seem a bit drastic for the matter at hand, it is still something to keep in mind. Many people feel uncomfortable with the theory of someone always watching them but this is essentially what is transpiring through the internet. Companies use your likes and dislikes and interactions to lure you into engaging with them and their businesses. If you wouldn’t give your personal information to someone you randomly see on the street then why should it be floating around the cyber world for anyone to use to their advantage. Although not directly, the 4th and 5th amendments imply the protection of privacy for citizens in America. (http://www.livescience.com/37398-right-to-privacy.html) If this right is actually instilled within the U.S. Constitution, the document in which the country was built upon, why is it that there are still violations? I do understand that sometimes this tracking of information ensures the safety of our country but if it is only being done for marketing purposes and to fuel business then it just proves to be a risk for situations such as identity theft.

    Even though it has now become limited usage, I also have a Facebook account to be able to keep in touch with family members and friends in other states and countries. This has also become a popular medium to share information regarding school and events. But I didn’t realize that the slightest touch of a button could release my information to the cyber world and various businesses. As mentioned in the article, the fact that deleting my account still will not remove my personal information from the hands of others is nerve-wracking. This article became more realistic to me when I realized the correlation. A couple days ago I was doing some online shopping for my sister and I realized the next day that the ads for the same website showed up as I was browsing through Facebook. I agree that in some cases this is good for boosting business and satisfying the customer but how far will we let it go before it becomes a big problem?

    • Joe Sada October 10, 2016 at 11:44 pm #

      Ad pop ups happen every single second on my computer when I am browsing. When I am on one site, it will show the banner or picture for the website I was just on. At first, I thought this was just a way of putting both sites together because they were similar and they suggested I view that website. I then realized they tracked what I was viewing and starting to show it on other websites I was on. Reading this article just gave me an insight to the whole advertising, stalking situation. The computer tracks what you visit and what you click on, we all know this is the case because we see previous websites appear on the new sites. If I go visit a new website that I have never gone to before and I need to log in, I will usually use sign in with Facebook. I actually just did that today for a resume builder. It is just the easiest, all I have to click is enable or something like that and it grants me access. Little did I know that I was basically giving them permission to view everything I was doing? I rarely use Facebook now, but it is very convenient for me to log in with them and I never thought that would happen like that. Currently, I am reading the article on usatoday.com and on the side of my screen there is an image and sneaker for the last website I visited before coming to this one. This made me think of how people are viewing what I am doing and how I am allowing this.
      I must go into Facebook and delete all the apps I do not use (which are all of them) so that Facebook has a harder time in stalking me and knowing exactly what I like. Another major thing for me is to stop signing into new websites with Facebook. I’m giving Facebook permission and also the new site by clicking signing in with Facebook. I do not want one website stalking me let alone two. This is not just Facebook though; many sites are stalking you to see what you like so an ad can pop up or recommend something to the user. This article made me think about how I can prevent this and how I allow this without me really knowing what I was doing.

  19. Aziz Smith-Hamilton October 8, 2016 at 8:39 pm #

    When I first signed up on Facebook I remember I use to post everything non-stop everyday like every 30 minutes at least. Telling everyone I was “friends” with what I was doing, where I was, things I liked, and so on. Two years in to having a profile I realized ads, pages, videos, and stuff I would always seem to like kept popping up without me even looking for it, and as convenient as it was at the time, I started to get a little freaked out. How did it know I would like to watch this particular video? how would it know I would look at this particular ad? I felt someone from Facebook was watching me. This lead to me posting less and just getting on to watch videos or see pictures of my family and then eventually I deactivated my page because it didn’t feel right. Same with other social media apps like Snapchat, I feel like its to personal to have and their is no restrictions to it like Facebook so to me that app is ten times worse.

    When you think about it from a business perspective it can be helpful when trying to come up with a business strategy and who to target, but it just gets to personal for me. I am glad to see their is a precaution to stop this problem though, but I don’t think it will make me rethink my decision to get back on Facebook.

  20. Brent October 9, 2016 at 3:17 pm #

    Facebook watching everything people do or say on the internet is no big surprise. Companies have always been looking for ways to make money. In Facebook’s case, they make money by selling data collected on their users to other companies. This does not mean they should be doing it, but as long as the little “I Agree to the Terms and Conditions” people can not stop it from happening, even though there are things people can do to limit the damage.
    Things like removing apps you don’t use and turning off apps completely need to start becoming second hand knowledge for people who want to keep as much as their privacy intact as possible, without going off the grid completely. It should also be common knowledge that Facebook is going to track someone if they log in using their personal account. Companies are really good about sneakily data mining people’s personal information, and things like getting information from a friends’ app just proves they’re getting sneakier by the minute.
    Yes, people should go into their settings and turn off everything Facebook secretly turns on immediately. If people start doing this then they will not win the fight of internet privacy. Removing apps, turning off apps, and reviewing what information apps are allowed to have is all great advice that should not only be used for Facebook, but all of social media in general.

  21. Dana October 9, 2016 at 7:34 pm #

    Facebook has always done this. This isn’t a shock to me, several companies use Facebook in order to promote their businesses through advertisements on your news feed. This is how they generate their income. Facebook tracks what their users are posting, sharing and following through their profiles. With technology and social media becoming a key role in society today people tend to ignore the fact that they are being tracked and followed on their social media sites. Some of them forget that their information is able to accessed by a simple look up if their profile settings are not set to private or if they forget to log out of their account on a public network.

    Another issue that is a little disturbing is the fact that if you decide you would like to delete yourself from an app it doesn’t delete you entirely off the server. If someone did not know that they had to do that then these Third Party sites would still be accessing their information and tracking what they are doing online even though they deleted the app. Everyone is under the impression that what they are doing online is safe and their privacy rights are protected as long as they change their privacy settings, but after reading this article many will see that what they post and what they do online will always be tracked and monitored by other companies.

  22. Jacob Pietras October 9, 2016 at 8:21 pm #

    In this day and age one knows that facebook is tracking them in one way or another. But what was more interesting and what this article showed is not only how much they track you, but how other companies use facebook and work through facebook to track you even more. What is fascinating is how easily you can stop them from tracking you and yet, nobody seems to do this.
    Its not even the fact than not that many people are stopping facebook from tracking them , it is that the number of people who don’t stop them is still high enough for facebook to amass billions of dollars in revenues (https://www.statista.com/statistics/277229/facebooks-annual-revenue-and-net-income/). Facebook gives you the option to turn these tracking features off because it doesn’t matter to them if only 10 or 20 percent of people actually turn them off. The remaining people vastly outweigh the small few that opt out of this “feature”.
    There is some good to facebook tracking feature though cause as the article says they sell this information to companies so that they can try and advertise to you. Why do they do this? Well to sell items to you of course. Now the good thing about this is that with all this tracking they know exactly what you like and therefore only market exactly what you should want based on your preferences. This is a good thing for in fact sometimes one can even get a decent amount of cheaper deals that way and actually save money by being advertised sales and the like. The article makes out that this facebook tracking is all bad when in reality it is not.
    The article lists a bunch of different ways in which one can lessen and even defeat the risk of having your personal information taken and used by other companies and even facebook, but that is not the point. Your information is out there already and there is nothing you can do about it at this point. Once it is posted anywhere online it is gone forever. The better solution is that anything you don’t want everyone to know, just do not post online. Post under a different name on facebook, or don’t share every single thing you are doing every waking moment, or even don’t share all your personal pictures! That is the problem with facebook users and a lot of internet users in general today; that they don’t respect/understand how the internet works and don’t respect themselves enough to not share certain parts of their life. They wonder why companies and facebooks knows all about them when in reality the only person they should be getting mad at is themselves.

  23. Adam Chojnowski October 9, 2016 at 11:16 pm #

    I’ve understood that Facebook tracks and uses the information they receive to select the advertising we see ever since I went birthday shopping for my girlfriend and suddenly was seeing advertisements about women’s clothing. I have felt Facebook (and other social media sites) tracking my information was something I couldn’t avoid. If I wanted to be a part of the Facebook community I had to be on the grid for several people to see, and since nothing bad was happening to me I felt there was no urge to fix that. I’m very thankful I read this article to learn that hackers love feeding off people who don’t take care of all that information sitting in a third-party company. That is all the incentive anyone should need to stop social media from accessing the information they are currently taking from the public. The article provides all the ways Facebook gathers information from its users and how to stop Facebook from doing so. Examples include stopping friends’ apps from seeing your info, no longer logging into sites using Facebook, and removing apps that you no longer use.

    As effective as using personal information can be at a business stand point, it’s not very comforting for consumers when they realize how much information about them is available, especially when the security of that information is unknown. I’m sure there is security protecting everything Facebook knows about me, but with so much talk of hackers accessing personal information, I’m still not assured that my information would be safe if a hacker decided to target me personally. Realizing that and knowing how Facebook could recommend me to women’s clothing seconds after looking for birthday presents gives me the idea that someone out there could one day find something I don’t want them to see (and possibly think I’m a cross-dresser). I will be sure to take the advise this article has provided me, and I highly recommend others to do the same.

  24. Anjali Arora October 10, 2016 at 3:08 pm #

    When I was younger, I was always confused and irritated at my parents for not letting me have a Facebook until a certain age. I never understood why some of my friends had one and my parents said I was not allowed to create a page. Years after making my Facebook, it came clear to me why they were skeptical about it. The internet is not as safe as it seems to be portrayed as. I personally have seen instances where I am online shopping for a certain item, log onto Facebook and see advertisements for that item on the side. This just proves that they do have algorithms that track what you click on. The fact that Facebook does this is a little intruding. We are all told that what you post on the internet even if you delete it, will always be there somewhere on the internet. But, Facebook going to the next step of tracking what we click on and what websites we go on is a little too much. Facebook is a website for us to be able to post pictures and share thoughts we want to, so having to be cautious on a cite that was made for posting about what we want is not good. I believe there should be some sort of laws against this. It is invasion of privacy for Facebook to be tracking every move we make on our computers. My timeline on Facebook is always filled with advertisements from my prior searches on the internet, and not only Facebook but other social media apps such as Instagram and Twitter tend to do the same thing. This is something that I believe needs to be stopped, they might they think they are doing it for us convince but I just think it is creepy.

  25. Joselito Abarca October 11, 2016 at 9:01 pm #

    When Facebook first began, Mark Zuckerberg targeted college students. Now, it is the most popular social media network on the internet with over 1.71 billion users worldwide. Facebook allows us to connect with friends, play games, and find out about the latest news. However, now a days it has become a site for the older generations as millennials are shifting to sites such as twitter, Instagram and etc. We are living in a world where everything is stored digitally. I always wondered why when I was on Facebook, ads and articles popped up that were similar to things of my interest. While scrolling through my newsfeed I realized that the ads coincided with my interests. My newsfeed was filled with information pertaining to things I enjoy or had recently searched on the internet. This makes it very convenient to look up stuff. However, after reading this article I know what is at stake. I am giving up my privacy in order to enhance my experience when utilizing Facebook. When Facebook was in its early stages of development, it was ad free. I personally do not remember this because at the time, Myspace was the big thing. As the article points out “All good things must come to an end.” As Facebook grew, companies realized that the website was a gold mine for advertisers to go and market themselves. By listening to a certain song, liking a post and visiting websites, this give company’s access to your preferences. Somewhere in the Terms and Conditions we are accepting that we give authorization to Facebook to do these things. Majority of people do not read it. After reading the article, it is quite scary the way users are being tracked. With Facebook’s acquisition of Instagram and WhatsApp, users are only becoming more vulnerable to these tracking incidents. According to the article, there are three ways that Facebook is tracking its users. They are: Facebook apps, Facebook logins, and friend apps monitoring you. When a site says “Log in with Facebook” and when you do so, you are allowing a company to track you. I have done this in multiple occasions in order to save myself time from creating different accounts. By doing the simpler process, I am giving authorization to Facebook more access to my information. It did not seem like a big deal, but it is. Furthermore, It is frightening that Facebook allows apps that are downloaded by your friends to monitor you. I also find it creepy hoe my father’s clients also come up as people who I may know. I have no friends in common with them! Moreover, one of the major risks that comes with this issue deals with security. As the article addresses, not all third party serves have Microsoft security. This can jeopardize our information thus making it vulnerable to hackers. The suggestions presented in this article are extremely helpful. I have decided to share this information with other users and change all my settings in order to prevent companies from accessing my information. It is terrible that the majority of users are not aware of this issue.


  26. Briann Downes October 12, 2016 at 5:30 pm #

    Many people have been apprehensive towards Facebook and its silent ability to know what stores you shop at, what music you like, etc. I have had many discussions with peers and professors regarding how strange it is when you are scrolling down Facebook and you see an ad for your favorite clothing line. It was interesting to read this article and discover that Facebook has algorithms that track what we watch, like, and click. Third-party companies are in on tracking users as well and use Facebook as a platform to advertise their products and services. The three ways companies track users are through Facebook apps, friends’ apps monitoring you, and Facebook logins. I never realized, until reading this article, that when I visit a website that offers me to sign in through Facebook that it is to track my interests; I always thought the purpose was to eliminate the time it takes to sign up for a website in order to make the experience better for the user. This does raise a concern in regards to privacy and hackers. Consumers need to be careful when using Facebook apps and Facebook logins because many times people use their credit card information on these sites and it would be tragic if a hacker got a hold of that information.
    Looking at this article from the perspective of a marketer or advertiser, Facebook is a great platform for advertising a product or service. As a future marketer, I certainly plan to use Facebook in this way. Facebook is one of the most popular social media platforms today. As the article said, the website is a treasure of information; it can share exactly what a person likes and watches so that advertisers can give the consumer exactly that. Social media is becoming the biggest part of a company’s marketing plan. Apps such as Instagram and Twitter have followed suit with the advertising methods Facebook uses. People can scroll down their feed and see sponsored ads for coffee shops they go to and TV shows they watch. Social media, including Facebook, is vital to a company’s advertising strategy and a key way to connect to their consumers.

  27. Reuben October 13, 2016 at 3:18 pm #

    As different generations are utilizing a variety of social networks to keep up with the latest news, friends and family, and the “cyber world” we as users are being monitored for activity and decision making. As members of the social networking sites we agree in the terms of conditions without actually realizing it that advertisers and marketers are spending there time understanding consumer interactions to better suit their businesses and tactics. With Facebook being the most popular social networking over the last couple of years, it is important to know what is being kept as public and private. Once data and information is published to the cyber world it cannot be taken away for a variety of reasons. I think parental figures before using Facebook themselves warned their children of the dangerous factors of sharing private information with “friends”. Now, that parents are on Facebook themselves they are transforming the platform without even realizing it. Facebook is being turned into a sales center because of the exposure of where they are and what they are doing advertisers can get a hold of this information quicker then we realize. Some users who are aware of the fact that advertisers are using their information for business purposes will not stop them from using the social network, but for others it could be the end of commenting, liking posts, and sharing statuses. The article provides all the ways Facebook gathers information from its users and how to stop Facebook from doing so. Examples shared are stopping friends’ apps from seeing your info, no longer logging into sites using Facebook, and removing apps that you no longer being used.
    I strongly believe those already on Facebook should just be very careful of whom they talk to and what they post on a daily, weekly, and monthly basis. I personally use Facebook to keep up to date with friends and family, but have not posted or liked anything in years because once you click on something it is stored forever. In other peoples scenarios, they are caught up in Facebook to the extent of telling friends where they currently are and what they are currently doing without realizing that the information is held by many people and businesses. I strongly believe that just being a simple user and not making many moves on Facebook is the safest bet in the current stage of the platform.

  28. Matt Multer October 14, 2016 at 6:15 pm #

    Talk about a captivating title. As a user of Facebook I was immediately interested in reading this. I can relate to everything that this article is talking about. I do feel like Facebook knows me a little too well. Everything that pops up on my feed is something I enjoy. It’s never something I wouldn’t want to see. Whether it’s an ad or a post. I’ve actually clicked on ads from Facebook and bought things from online. It’s like they subliminally knew exactly what I was thinking. I was never really fully aware of how companies store what you do on their site as data to then show you things that you would be into. They have specific algorithms in order to figure this information out.

    Kim Komando presents one of the most interesting articles I’ve read in a long time. Digging deep into how all this data tracking came about and what you can do to stop this. While I was reading this article I actually followed along with the steps. But I’ll get to that in a second. Right now I want to outline my favorite parts of what Kim had to say. And what really stood out to me. What was most interesting to me was the fact that this can really have an effect on people. Every day we hear about a new data breach in some big company. And this is what could really effect any of us using Facebook. The hackers can literally see all of your information. As soon as I read this I actually knew that I had to take the steps to protect myself.

    First what I had to do was remove all the apps I don’t use. This was fantastic because there’s so many apps that take up space and collect dust on my home screen. Not only is this a good step to protecting from being tracked, it was also pleasing to get rid of some old things. Secondly I had to stop logging in using Facebook. This was hard for me to come to terms with because logging in with Facebook makes everything so much easier. After long consideration I decided I wasn’t going to even follow through with my plan. Yes I do want to protect myself against a data breach and against from being tracked but I decided it’s not something to get worked up over.

    The chances of Facebook having a data breach have got to be so slim. A company like Facebook has to keep their user’s information protected. Also, if Facebook were to ever have a breach I would not be concerned due to the fact that there are 1.71 billion users on Facebook. What are the odds that out of all of those people your exact information will be used in a way that would be damaging to you? It’s just impossible to work up such a sweat over this because the internet is everything today. You cannot survive without the internet. As much as I want to keep safe while using it, I’m not going to stress over being tracked by Facebook when there’s not much to do due to how much we rely on the internet.

  29. Ryan Grasso October 15, 2016 at 9:44 am #

    Technology has become an integral part in the lives of billions of people in the world. One problem with the increase in technology and online services that are provided to society is the increased risk of identity theft and hacking that comes along with the increase in technology. In my opinion the article does a good job providing an outline to protect yourself from having your information accessed by unintended accessors, and for many people they will find use in the article in reducing the amount of people who can access their information. The article talks about how the cross connected apps, can leave personal information on servers that are not as secure as Microsoft or apple servers. With the recent release of the Yahoo account hacking information as well as the government computer hacking releasing 21.5 million social security numbers and finger prints which was discussed in an article by the NY Times back in July. I believe this article provides a service to the readers, in reminding them to always be aware of what websites have access to personal information.
    This article exclusively talks about Facebook, and how Facebook tracks your information for the advertisers on its site. In the first three paragraphs of the article it mentions that Facebook uses algorithms to track user’s likes and preferences. This could lead many readers to believe that Facebook is invading the privacy of users by tracking and predicting information of its users, but I believe it is important to recognize that these algorithms are not exclusively used to track user preferences to give to advertisers. Algorithms similar to the one used by Facebook are also used by used by google and were initially created by Netflix in order to predict what movies a customer might want to watch next based on what they have watched in the past. Another example is Pandora, Pandora uses streaming algorithms to predict what song listeners will likely want to hear next. I felt that the article made it seem that these algorithms and tracking systems could only be used to exploit Facebook users and felt that it was important to recognize the positive uses that these types of algorithms could have on the lives of consumers.

  30. Mike Mondelli October 15, 2016 at 2:51 pm #

    Since I have been a Facebook user, I have always known that the advertisements shown on my news feed were no coincidence. When scrolling through my news feed, it is common to see sponsored posts that advertise interesting products. As an avid gamer, I am subscribed to both the Xbox and PlayStation pages on Facebook and as a result, I often see sponsored ads for the latest video games. I think this article is helpful because it is important for people to realize how much information they are giving to companies, especially after data from 500 million Yahoo! accounts was recently stolen. When a user chooses to sign up with Facebook when making an account, they are trusting their information to a third-party server that may be vulnerable to a data breach. It is much safer to create a separate account because you can avoid storing sensitive data such as friend information and hometown on an unsecured server. Facebook does not clearly tell its users how to secure their personal information. One thing that is shady is the fact that apps can access your information even if they have not been installed. After reading about this, I decided to go into settings and prevent friends’ apps from seeing my info. This made me realize that I was giving app developers permission to use my information without me realizing. Apps my friends use were able to see my bio, birthday, family, school and more. After seeing this, I promptly unchecked every box and deleted every app that I don’t use. Since most Facebook users agree to the terms and conditions without actually reading them, they are unaware of the privacy issues until they read an article like this one.

    From a business perspective, using Facebook to advertise products is an excellent idea. Facebook is not the first website to use algorithms for advertising. Sites such as Yahoo! also show me advertisements based on my Google search history and I don’t even have a Yahoo! account. YouTube and Pandora use a similar algorithm to determine suggested videos and similar songs or artists, respectively. Companies know exactly what consumers prefer and they can advertise accordingly. Billions of people, young and old, display their interests on Facebook for all to see and it makes sense that companies would take advantage of this. While I sometimes find advertisements annoying on social media sites, I understand that they are a necessary evil in order to keep the service free. If there must be online advertising, I would prefer to see products that interest me. When watching TV, I am forced to sit through ads for products that don’t interest me such as furniture or cleaning products. On social media, companies can always ensure that they are targeting the right consumers. As social media continues to grow, companies will only continue to use it as a marketing tool for their products.

  31. Natalie Fiordaliso October 16, 2016 at 9:36 pm #

    To begin, thanks to Kim Komando for sharing some very useful information that I am planning to keep handy as a reminder to check out my Facebook account every once-in-a-while to see “who is watching me”. Judging from most of the posts to this article, it’s clear that Facebook has become somewhat of a staple in everyday life for most of us, primarily because it is such a convenient and fun way of connecting with family, friends and relatives that we don’t see often. In fact, as Dean pointed out, when Facebook first came in to “being” I also remember
    that the cite felt relatively harmless and pretty much “ad-free”. Obviously, the marketing potential of all that white, empty space on glaring at millions of potential consumers gave way to the “pop-up ad” that we have become so accustomed to today. That being said, I must admit how frustrating those ads have become as they interrupt whatever I am trying to do; cause me to accidentally visit cites I wasn’t planning to visit and usually cause my computer to pick up potential viruses along the way. So, just in case the Facebook folks are tracking this blog site, I
    would like to let them all know that when “pop-ups” get in my way, I log off…no matter what you are trying to sell me.
    Still, like Kaitlyn, after reading this article, I now more clearly understand how personal information can be so easily transferred to “third party companies” without your realizing it; like the flu. In fact, that point, in and of itself, is the most alarming because not only is the consumer inadvertently granting permission to firms they are not even aware of, but, as Ms. Komando points out in her article, “this information is being stored on a third-party server (and) not every
    app developer is going to have Microsoft-level security” (Komando 2). So, essentially, your personal information is more likely to fall into the hands of “hackers” with bad intentions and there is a very high probability that you will never know or be informed of a breach and, as a result, never be able to protect yourself. This is exactly the reason why I never sign into a site with Facebook and never log onto an ad that way either. Instead, I do my own search on
    whatever company I am interested in and surf the web from there.
    In addition, as Daniel suggests, I noticed many months ago how, while online shopping, my Facebook newsfeed “would come up with the shoes (I was) just looking at…at a discounted rate” So it wasn’t long before I started tweaking the system in my favor by doing a bunch of test searches and then waiting a few hours before deciding on a purchase just to see what offers started to trickle in form other competitor sites. I agree with Valerie in that this type of underhanded exposure to advertising is essentially an “invasion of privacy” and many times a
    very unsettling one at that, especially when your security software starts having to block potential threats. However, like Dean says, “I, oddly enough, find benefits to it… (when) I see something that could be of use to me” In fact, Dean is right to say that Facebook is actually “personalizing” the advertising industry on a micro-economic level.
    All in all, there is a clear need for consumers to push for new legislation and government intervention designed to regulate how advertisers can use information gained from digital sources in order to help alleviate the threats “hackers” pose to the average consumer. Meanwhile, Ms. Komondo leaves us with some very useful tips that we should all live by and share with others we know. First, “remove apps you don’t use (or) turn off apps completely”, just to be safe. In addition, “stop logging into sites from Facebook (and) stop friends’ apps from
    seeing your info.” (Komando 2). Hopefully, by staying aware and vigilant, we consumers can help each other become just as tech savvy as those “hackers” and maybe even put them right out of business.

  32. Sami C. October 16, 2016 at 11:34 pm #

    I can understand both sides of the debate of Facebook tracking. For the ordinary person who is just using Facebook and its apps, their activities are being tracked. Facebook and third-party apps are gaining information on the person’s habits and interests to categorize and store in their database. People may see this as invasion of privacy or just something that happens. I just posted on another blog dealing with Yahoo giving the federal government information from their users e-mails and how this is impacts people’s privacy. This article has similar aspects of whether we should allow this to happen or not.

    Through Facebook apps and logging into other websites with Facebook, users are essentially letting businesses access to your information and basicallly saying it is acceptable for them to do so. Yet, people do have the ability to somewhat protect their information if they still want to uses those applications and sites. When I went to my Facebook account to see what apps had access to what information, I was shocked. I was not doing a very good job of protecting my information. I agree with Matthew about the biggest concern is not that these companies have my information to use for target marketing, but the idea of hackers breaking in to those databases and stealing my information. These hackers could open up credit cards, sell information to others, or get into my bank accounts. If these companies that have my information stored have great security, then I would feel slightly more protected. However, not all of them have security systems set in place, like Facebook.

    On the other hand, I understand what the goal of these companies who use this Facebook tracking technology is. I am a double major in advertising and marketing. It is extremely helpful to have information on your target market in order to specifically aim campaign messages at them. The more a company can gear the advertisement to the individual the higher the chance that person will go out and purchase the product. This increases profit for that company. Facebook is a great platform to collect this kind of information about people. There are pros and cons to everything, especially with the ever increasing scope of technology in our lives. It is up to us to decide what information we are acceptable letting companies/governments have and what about ourselves we want to keep private.

  33. Janelle George October 27, 2016 at 9:29 pm #

    After taking various classes related to business in marketing, I am not surprised at all by tracking algorithms. I was first introduced to the idea of “convenient pop-up ads” in my statistics class. My teacher mentioned that the people who calculate how many consumers search for certain items are some of the highest paid workers in the industry. According to research statistics, statistical engineers are the highest paid employees compared to any other position in the workforce. Running a business is all about stats, it is all about who is viewing those ads online. My current Management Information Systems teacher mentioned that when you click away an annoying banner ad, the company that ran the ad doesn’t care why you closed it just that you saw it. It is all marketing strategy. If you are a marketing major and you plan on working for a company to develop better social media marketing techniques for your future company you should expect this kind of targeting strategy to come up as the most effective strategy for reaching your consumers.
    I did not have a Facebook until about 6 years ago. Around then I was in my freshman year of high school. I recall my peers getting new cell phones and creating their Facebook accounts before me, accessing them on their Blackberrys or flip phones (however limited with internet access they were). All through high school I went without a smart phone until my first semester at college. I hardly understood why I was never allowed to use Facebook, while I was in high school the targeting never applied to me anyway. However while I believe it can be rational to have some fear about the tracking used in social media advertising it is ultimately something most people (including myself) do not fully understand. I believe that until we fully understand how these programs work (because we do not know if it really affects personal information like passwords and such) we should not be afraid of it. Sure, it seems kind of freaky that you see ads for apps that your friends use, but that goes back to marketing strategies and especially privacy preferences. All of this stuff has been going on for years; I personally know my security has been unaffected by it (in terms of passwords and personal information). We should not worry as much unless there is a regional-wide report of privacy breaches.

  34. jaymie nieves November 1, 2016 at 5:02 pm #

    Facebook has been one of my favorite social media site for several years, but it is not a surprise to me that they tracked my information. I am an avid user of Facebook and I can tell that certain ads and videos are specifically tailored to my preferences. Facebook is an incredible social media platform that originally was meant to connect to friends and family. Now through its use of user information, Facebook has evolved in to a platform that provides entertainment, as well as shopping outlet to fit the user’s preferences. In my opinion Facebook needed to track its users’ information in order to stay relevant to current social media apps.
    When people sign up for social media platforms they should expect to lose some their private information. Facebook should not only have the right to access information upload onto the platform but to also use that information to profit off its users. Since Facebook is a free service, the company need to sell its users information to run the platform running. The problem with Facebook is that the users are not well informed that their information might be sold and used by third party companies. Facebook has some permission notification but the notifications are very vague on how much information is being obtain from the users.
    Facebook runs off the selling of user information. Information is an essential resource that needs to use for the platform to stay relevant in today’s social media. People who use these websites need to understand that the internet is for the public and privacy is almost impossible to keep on social media sites.

  35. Amir Omar November 1, 2016 at 7:49 pm #

    With technology becoming a huge influence on our day-to-day lives, social media couldn’t be a hotter commodity. So I can see why companies would take advantage of this marketing gold mine. The fact that Facebook held out so long was one of the only reasons I used it the most. But now that it’s a sell out, companies use it basically like a marketing scheme. Which makes using social media less appealing in my view. Its annoying logging onto Facebook or some other kind of social media and getting these pop up ads that make using the site hard. When I log on to Facebook I want to be able to connect with my friends and family not to be harassed by companies trying to sell me things. But its not just the harassment there’s an ethical wrong doing here
    The millions of people that have Facebook accounts should be entitled to their privacy. Facebook really shouldn’t be able to just to just give up information to third party Company’s. Every time I hit the like button, Facebook sells my like to a company to bury my timeline with waste that I’m probably not interest in. Facebook basically makes its revenue by selling its users information. Which is definitely a ethical technical foul, completely taking advantage of its user, that probably half of don’t know there information is being tracked. This could also be a security issue, if they can track our info and our profiles personal information could be stolen.
    On the other side I understand the appeal from companies. Social media is a great way to narrow down a pool of consumers to target. In 2016 just about everything is done online and I think that’s where social media and marketing have became intertwined. We have already seen it, when we go on YouTube and have to watch an ad before we watch the video we want to see. Facebook is now a way for us to be prey for these large companies.

  36. kaitlyn healy November 2, 2016 at 5:17 pm #

    In the article “Facebook is Watching and Tracking you More than you probably Realize” by Kim Komando we get a look at how we as a society are being tracked more than we even knew. This article describes how companies use Facebook and other online companies to spy on what we like and get a good look at what we post and like to collect an enormous amount of data to increase their customer base. Apparently these companies use algorithms to track all of our movements on social media, if we “like” something that data is collected and targeted to different companies.

    The article goes on to talk about how when Facebook started people like it because they could connect with friends and family in a noncommercial way. I think back to the movie, The Social Network, that gave a play by play on how Facebook started and one of the scenes that stuck with me was when Facebook found Mark Zuckerberg was explaining how he didn’t want to sell out to advertisers. He was explaining to his then partner Edcuardo that advertising would ruin what he envisioned for his company. As everything in life the almighty dollar can really change the way the world is controlled. This does not exclude the giant social media site because there are many ads that are all over Facebook.

    The first time I noticed this magical world of advertising take place I was on Google looking up boots that I wanted to buy, a little while later I was on Facebook and I noticed that on the far right of the screen there were advertisements for different boots that I was looking for. At first I thought it was magic, and then I thought wow I bought a super intelligent computer in the fact that it remembered everything I wanted. I soon realized that every site I was on was advertising something I was looking for. It seemed a little disturbing that advertisers knew I was searching for something and targeted my needs completely. It seems convenient but the fact that there is someone out there tracking my computer surfing makes me very uncomfortable. If someone is targeting what I am buying who is to say they aren’t able to read my emails or even get personal information from my computer.
    So here is my question, are we dealing with legal hackers? Is it ok for companies to gather this data and is Facebook stance on privacy open to sharing our likes and dislikes. Let me go even further what if I dislike something and in the future that dislike comes back to haunt me.
    Even if we are extremely careful these data collecting companies can still trace us and the article goes on to explain how. If you play game that a friend recommends and open it up in Facebook you now open yourself up to being exploited so anytime you log in to Facebook for the use of an app you are vulnerable. The article suggest to remove apps that you don’t use. It doesn’t completely remove your information but you can contact the app developer and have data collected removed. Another thing that is important to know is do not open an app in Facebook and try to stay ahead of your security settings. I feel like this is a game that we need to stay ahead of constantly and that it is a battle that will never end. When we come up with security there is someone out there who is determined to break it

  37. Gen Roman November 2, 2016 at 11:10 pm #

    I started using Facebook around the age of 15. Although I do not use their service as much as when I started, I believe that Facebook is one of the greatest social media outlets of our time. When it first started, Facebook was ad-free and that attracted many people to their site. That feature really separated them from their competition. However, with its popularity it began to sell advertisements to generate revenue. The problem with this and the reason for the article is that the way Facebook decides to advertise to its users is very invasive and sneaky. For example, have you ever seen an advertisement for a store or website that you were just at? This is because Facebook is tracking the activity of its users and is “learning” their purchasing behavior. Luckily for the reader, the article shares 3 ways that Facebook is collecting information. First, it sends out invitations from third party apps. Those that accept are allowing Facebook to collect various types of personal data from their bios, likes, and post history. Second, every time that a user logs into a site using their Facebook login, Facebook is amassing a database of their browsing information. Last, Facebook even manages to track you when you don’t do anything. Whenever your friends accept an invite to an app, one’s settings may allow the app that is connected to their friend to see their own information. Returning to the article, they offer some suggestions to lessen the hold Facebook may have on its users. Stopping and removing apps will reduce the amount of information Facebook can collect from you. Another suggestion, that I currently practice, is to never log on to a site using my Facebook information. I do not like linking other sites to my social media and, thanks to this article, I have had my feelings validated. Logging in as a guest makes me feel more secure and it protects my shopping or browsing history from being shared with the world. I also feel that more people should look at their accounts like I do. Privacy is a big issue and I don’t think we should dismiss Facebook’s tracking and collecting information on us – even if it’s only for advertising purposes.

  38. Harrison McClure November 3, 2016 at 12:01 am #

    Internet privacy has been an increasing issue in our society. There are thousands of social media sites on the internet today, but Facebook was the “pioneer” and big dawg” of all of these sites. Given their elite status, it is slightly disturbing that Facebook is having these major privacy issues. Whenever you search anything, or post anything on Facebook, they keep that information and store it for each specific user. They even have apps that can literally track your exact location if you are using Facebook on a smart phone. Most people that use Facebook have the slightest clue that Facebook even has the capability or even would implement something like this on their users.

    Some people may knock this capability Facebook has as not being a big deal, but personally I think we all need to be aware of what we are doing with social media and act against it. The biggest problem I have with Facebook doing this is the threat of internet hackers. If these hackers have all of our personal information, and even access to our location at any given time, a problem definitely arises. At the end of the day, it is our job to know what is and isn’t private information in regard to what we do with our social media. If it doesn’t affect you now, there is still a good chance that something you did years ago could pop up in the future and end up hurting you down the road.

  39. Emily M November 11, 2016 at 12:43 pm #

    It is scary to think that you are being watched on Facebook and that the internet knows so much about you. Every time I would go on Facebook or other websites, an ad for something I was looking up earlier would pop up. I remember one time I was looking up Michael Kors watches. Later that day I went on Facebook and the Michael Kors websites popped up on the side of the page with their watches. This just showing me how much you need to be careful while using the internet or even social media. I do not use Facebook much anymore, but I remember when I used to, it would also so me those pop ups where it would ask for permission to access my information. It would ask me to access my profile, my Facebook friends, and see what games I play.

    On many other websites or apps, I would usually get asked to login through Facebook. I did not want these sites seeing my Facebook so I usually would make a separate account. I do not like how other these websites and apps I use somehow all connect in some way. This just reminds me and many others that you really need to be careful what you share about yourself because it can be seen by many others. What we say or look up on sites like Facebook can potential harm us in the future.

    Social media has created so many issues and has become something that can be really unsafe. I know no matter how unsafe it becomes most people will continue to use it including myself. I do not think people need to stop using social media, but they definitely need to be more careful. It is crazy how someone’s social media can access their friends because it asks you to follow or like something that your friend did. Facebook and other social media like Snapchat also let people tag where they are when they post something. This is very unsafe because now anyone can find out where you are at any time.

  40. Matthan Martir November 11, 2016 at 2:17 pm #

    Before this article, I knew Facebook somehow tracked my interests but I never knew how. Never knew that they can track my interests based on what I search up over the internet, or the apps I let connect to my Facebook, and what’s even more scary my friends’ apps. This article reminds me of an article I read before about the internet becoming a more dangerous and exposed placed. That is becoming truer day by day as technology is becoming more efficient and attaining more capabilities. This brings up the question of what is the limit that sites like Facebook can take before it becomes a privacy issue. I am reading other people’s comments and know that I am not the only one who is a little creeped out by this and knowing that I had no idea of how it was occurring makes it a little more scary.

    I believe this shows how an invasion of privacy is so easy. Facebook is invading information that some people deem is personal and as a result can lead to more invasion of privacy. If Facebook can access this information so can hackers. As I’ve said in a previous article, we need to begin investing in cyber safety. Sites such as Facebook shouldn’t be able to access our information so easily, and if they can do it people with little experience in cyberspace can too. The more your information is spread throughout the internet, obviously the easier it is for people to access it. The world of technology is changing and as a result, we must adapt to it.

  41. Rushil Jain November 11, 2016 at 4:31 pm #

    I first started using Facebook when I was 17. I was a very late bloomer because I come from a family that is super strict on sharing information. All of my friends were on it and I felt like I was missing out on something very crucial to my teenage years. I used to love looking at the graphic design of the platform because it was unique and unlike anything I had seen before. When I first became a user, I used the medium to post statuses so my friends would know what I was up to every minute of the day. Now I barely use Facebook at all because of my schedule. I occasionally turn it on, scroll through a post or two and then shut it off again for hours. Because my parents were so cautious, when I first started, I was careful with my privacy settings and who could friend me. As years progressed, I lost my caution and would allow access willy nilly. I still see advertisements from companies and websites I have recently visited and I do wonder how they know I am interested in that object. A few semesters ago, I took a course where a professor told me something very scary. He mentioned that he was traveling and he stopped in a restaurant and purchased a soda brand he had never tried or never heard of. Then the next day, he was scrolling through Facebook and saw the same brand of soda he had purchased in the advertisement section. He wasn’t sure if it was through the location services or through recent transactions on his credit card, but since then, he has been very attentive. A Facebook trend these days are personality quizzes and random generated clickbait. Now that I think about it, there are so many apps that I have allowed access to my Facebook profile information. This not only opens the door to advertisements from various companies and advertisements but it also allows hackers more of your personal information, which explains the rise in internet fraud and hacks. However in today’s society, where most of our information and day to day experiences are online, it is very difficult to escape from allowing certain websites our information.

  42. Hakim felder January 20, 2017 at 6:48 pm #

    Nowadays, most of the interactions we have with our peers are through social media. The reason for this is that technology had been growing rapidly over last decade or so. It is safe to say that everyone who inhabits in a technology efficient environment has used or knows someone who has dealt with Facebook. Everyone uses Facebook; most companies use it as a way to interact with their employees. It is so popular in today’s world because it is so quick and easy to use. Reading this article was very informative. They made some key points, which I made connections in my life.
    I remember when Facebook was first invented I did not want waste my time on it because I felt as if everyone had one. I wanted to be a trendsetter, not a follower. That was until I made my first account; I was astonished by a number of games they had on the app. Since I was a huge sports fan, I was able to keep up with my favorite teams by liking the pages.
    The whole aspect of Facebook and having your information tracked is so creepy to me. Why would they need to hold on to my information anyway? I feel like no one is safe nowadays, when dealing with social media first you have to take in consideration of people who like to catfish and now worry your private information being discovered. How do you know who is watching your Facebook profile the most? We are being tracked by are preferences which are unfair. Facebook is supposed to be a site where people can express themselves and connect with others around the world.
    One factor that really stuck out to me were logging into sites using Facebook, There are so many social media sites to choose from to connect with your friends. This factor is the one that everyone is aware of and has done once before in their lifetime. Facebook is just one of them. Have you ever realized that when you are making an account for another social media app it gives you the option of logging into it with Facebook? I did not really pay it no mind until now. Facebook is using other sites as a way to get your information, which is very intriguing in a way but very scary. According to Kim Komando, “In the future, when you’re adding an app or logging into a website try to avoid logging in with Facebook. But, if you must use Facebook to log in, then look for the “Log in anonymously” or “Guest” option so it won’t share your information.”
    The biggest problem I have with this whole controversy is the chances of having your account hacked. I have friends who have had their Facebook hacked. Social media information cannot be taken for granted. We must watch what we post on social media as it can have a negative impact on our lives. There is Worldwide Data being collected every day. I remember a delinquent from south side Chicago posted a picture of a rocket launcher on social media. In a weeks’ time, he was put in jail in a juvenile center, which is insane.

  43. Cayla Andican January 26, 2017 at 1:20 pm #

    This article “Facebook is watching and tracking you more than you probably realize”, was honestly not a surprise. I have always known that my information was being used and tracked online, yet, I continue to use social media. I never really thought about the dangers social media brings because I figured it was all unlikely; but I was wrong. Putting personal information online is treacherous, what goes online stays online and once it is there it is there forever.
    I have been active on Facebook since middle school, all my friends were on it, playing games and keeping in touch over breaks. I felt left out so I had to get one. Even now, I am still pretty updated on my Facebook; I use it to post pictures, play games, contact old friends, and scroll through updates. I never realized how much information Facebook actually holds. The internet is such a dangerous place and there really is no safe zone. It is easier than we think for hackers or third party users to get into a computer and steal information. This happens more frequently than expected.
    I have noticed recently more pop ups and advertisements on my Facebook page. These pop ups are ironically the items I have viewed on other websites. For example, I just ordered a pair of boots off Macy’s.com and ever since then that exact pair of shoes has shown up on my Facebook page with a link to Macy’s.com. This is an example of Big Data; Big Data is a form of advertising that companies have been using more due to the increase in popularity of social media. Many think this is an invasion of privacy, but we are giving the websites our information, which gives them our okay on using our information online. Since social media is so popular these days, people do not think twice when posting online.
    This article brings up aps requiring a Facebook login to access. I have seen this many times and always click “Sign in with Facebook”, or “Connect with Friends”, so I do not have to make another account and I can find all my friends. I never realized by doing this I am giving my information to another company other than Facebook. I am a frequent Candy Crush player and that application gives the option to synchronize with Facebook, of course I say yes because when you synchronize with Facebook you will not have to replay older levels. By doing this, I am giving the company, Candy Crush, access to all my information. At this point, I could not count how many websites or games I have linked with my Facebook account because it is easy or required. All of these websites now have my information. This is a reason why everyone should monitor what is posted online, what is put online is stuck there and it can be accessed by anybody.

  44. Olivia Tarnawska January 26, 2017 at 1:52 pm #

    Back when I first joined Facebook, it was an outlet to catch up with old friends, or have a interesting conversation. Nowadays, it filled with advertisements and pop ups. When the article mentions that “it’s almost as if Facebook knows you personally”, it presents a good idea. Based on what you like or watch, Facebook provides you with additional articles or videos that may also spark your interest. What seems like a clever idea, in my opinion, is actually really creepy. Facebook essentially saves all the history and uses it to their advantage. This certainly makes me uncomfortable, and certainly takes away any form of privacy for a Facebook user.

    This article also brought to my attention that the ‘log-in with Facebook” option allows a company to track a person. I had no idea that by doing so, someone else gained access to seeing my account. This option is made for so many social media sites, and seems like a more convenient way to log in, when in reality, it is a more dangerous approach to logging in. After reading this article, I do regret ever using that option as I see that it is actually more beneficial to not get caught up in the trap. This makes hacking even easier. I myself have had my Instagram account hacked about two weeks ago, and had to create a new profile. The hacker changed my bio as well as my picture, but kept my name. This was bizarre, especially since the hacker presented my profile in the most explicit way, that I myself would never do. It is a shame that a person looses their privacy as soon as they use the internet.

    The internet today if far more dangerous than it has ever been. Kids are exposed to much more than they were years ago, at ages they should not be. Additionally, people are becoming so open with sharing their personal interests, likes, opinions, etc., that they fail to realize that the information that they are giving out, can have a really negative affect. No longer is the internet safe, and no longer are people entitled to having their “private” profiles. Regardless if a person’s settings are turned on private, they are still companies and hackers who are able to view everything, and that is enough to stop me from using Facebook ever again.

  45. Carl Hakansson January 26, 2017 at 5:15 pm #

    This article by Kim Komando is very fascinating in the sense that it goes in depth on how to stop Facebook from taking your information, rather than just explaining the problem. Personally, I have been well aware for a while that Facebook and other websites can somehow monitor your internet activity and give that information to advertisers so that the advertisers can advertise relevant products that each specific user may enjoy. Despite knowing this, I never knew exactly how Facebook got a hold of my credentials. As the article explains, we often times do not realize when we are simply handing our information over to websites and advertisers. When we are asked to login to something through Facebook, we are giving that app or website access to our information that is available to the public on Facebook. For many people, checking your Facebook settings is not a force of habit, and therefore we have no idea what is public and what is private. Another way for you to be tracked is by simply using an app or website while being logged in to Facebook. Facebook can see the websites you visit while you are logged in, and can then sell and relay that information over to advertisers who will then advertise relevant content.

    I believe that growing up, my generation has become not only less conscious of, but also more apathetic towards internet security and the fact that companies monitor you. Although the feeling of being watched can make anyone uneasy, personally I do not feel violated by Facebook. Although they monitor our behavior on the internet, it is simply to advertise to us properly. Of course, I would prefer to avoid the annoying advertisements, but in the end it is virtually harmless. I would have a huge problem if Facebook stole my information and used it to steal my identity or commit a crime, but a large corporation will not do that. I think there is a huge difference between corporations monitoring you and individuals monitoring you. Corporations intend to make a profit whereas individuals may intend to steal your information. Outlawing companies from monitoring customers’ internet activity may be a smart move to ensure privacy, but truthfully, I do not feel as though I am being harmed by advertisers. In contrast, Facebook will often times use your information to enhance your experience on the website. Given each user’s previous history of online searches, as well as what they view on Facebook, Facebook will use that information to lead you to relevant videos, articles, etc. that you may be interested. This shows online monitoring can also be used as good.

    No matter whether or not you agree will Facebook’s monitoring, it is important regardless to be aware of what goes on behind the scenes. Although Facebook’s intention is to make a profit, they could easily take users’ information and use it for different purposes, given that many users do not even know they are being watched. As long as you are aware of what websites and companies do, and act accordingly to how you feel by either allowing them to do it or changing your settings, then there should be no problem with online monitoring.

  46. Isaiah Allen January 27, 2017 at 8:59 pm #

    Social media is beneficial to us because it allows us to connect with our friends and family, however it also has resulted in a lack of privacy. In her article, Kim Komando warns us about the dangers of the data tracking that occurs on social media platforms. Most people believe that simple safety measures like privatizing their accounts eliminates the possibility for them to be tracked. However, Komando reminds us that those tactics are simply not enough as technology continues to progress, and more advertisements appear on our accounts. Companies have gotten smarter and are using technology to their advantage in terms of targeting social media users to buy their products. Facebook was one of the first major social media platforms, and as Komando mentions we used to love it because of the lack of advertisements they had. However, as other social media companies started to integrate advertisements onto their websites, Facebook had no choice to do the same. Everyone has received a message on Facebook stating that a friend has downloaded a new game app and that we should also. We usually are skeptical of these messages but some seem to fall into the trap anyways. I feel that sometimes we forget that everything we do on Facebook leaves a trail, which makes it easier for companies to develop advertisements geared towards our interests. Now, Facebook has the ability to authorize other apps to access your information.
    When we see “Log In with Facebook” we usually take advantage of it because it is quicker and easier than creating a username and password. However, very rarely do we consider the fact that Facebook now has information that they can use in order to target us for advertisements. While we may believe this is unethical, I’m sure Facebook just believes that they are trying to tend the needs of their customers more. One thing that acts as an advantage for Facebook is the fact that we will continue to use “Log In with Facebook” because it is quicker and no one wants a million passwords to remember. As for the games, we should always make sure that we do not download any suspicious games that look like click bait. Komando mentioned some helpful tips on how to make sure our data cannot be compromised, like deleting apps we don’t use and turning them off completely. These simple tasks can go a long way in protecting your information and making sure you are not at risk.
    When Facebook first launched, no one really thought about the possibility of data tracking or advertisements. However, there still was concern about privacy just as there is today. As technology started to expand, we should have kept an even closer eye on our social media accounts but that doesn’t seem to be the case. Today the internet is as dangerous as it has ever before, but thanks to social media, we can now alert more and more people about data tracking and these safety measures. So in a way Facebook is the solution to its own problems. If we can spread the word about securing our social media accounts, on social media, more people will become informed about the issue and can do all that it takes to protect themselves. Even though Facebook is flooded with advertisements nowadays, there are still ways for us protect ourselves from them. As time goes on, I expect more and more people to take notice of this issue and will become more concerned about their safety.

  47. Alex Strom February 27, 2017 at 3:00 am #

    Hacking is something that has happened over the past few years, that has only become a bigger problem. Hackers are getting new tricks and gadgets to hack with, so we must always stay up to date on our side of the battle. Facebook is something that is probably linked to a lot of things on your phone, so a hacker could easily access your information if he wanted to. The world is only becoming a more competitive place, with more desperate people. So we, as people, must educate ourselves in order to protect ourselves when using the interweb, because that is the future of America.
    Facebook started off as an ad-free platform, which was something that brought many customers to them, as Kim Komando explains. Soon, they changed this perk, and began selling ads, which is when everything changed. The liking and disliking of ads led to the current tracking that we see in Facebook. Some of these ways can be very sneaky, which include the use of Facebook game apps, Facebook logins, and even friends apps can monitor you just from being around you, which I find to be especially creepy. However, you able to negate this, which is something most people do not do because they do not know anything about their actions being tracked. You can help lesson this effect by deleting apps you do not use, and turning off apps completely. You should also stop using logins with Facebook, and turn off the allocation for your friends to see your information in your settings. This is scary because anyone can get this information, so it leaves you, and everyone else, in a very vulnerable position.
    Facebook keeps track of everything that you do whenever you are using Facebook, in order to use ads that they believe would be the most effective on you personally. Facebook can track you in many ways, some that you may not think of right off the bat. It can be scary to think about how much Facebook alone knows about you, which should scare you if you are a Facebook user because of the threat of hackers. If someone wanted to know information about you, then they could try to hack Facebooks systems and extract the information that they need. Of course, this would not be easy to do, so the ends must justify the means for the hackers. This scares me personally, because now I know that if a person really wanted to know something about me, Facebook could give them the opportunity to get that information. Hacking is something that has only become more and more popular and effective, so we all must learn to protect ourselves from these happenings. You can never predict the attack of a hacker, but you can do your best to protect yourself and your information by fending off the hacker. Unfortunately, this is the world that we are stepping into. The problems come along with the advancements in society, so we have to find a means of fixing these problems. Since this is going to be an international issue, this new system of protection needs to be enforced on the international level. If there is a solid guideline for proper safety precautions that every country must follow, then we will be able to take on the hackers together. All the countries must unify and fight together, which is a problem that I think we might have. Donald Trump is not exactly making friends as the President of the United States, so hopefully we do not get excluded from this union.

  48. Abeeda Razack March 23, 2018 at 9:21 pm #

    Believe it or not technology has managed to control our lives. With the improvements made to technology, individuals have the ability to complete various tasks over the internet; from online shopping to communicating with friends and families on various social media platforms. Privacy continues to one of the more prevalent issues that exist in today’s world. Over the years, we have witnessed numerous events where users’ accounts and their information have been compromised on these social media platforms. Facebook is one of the most commonly used means of communication over the internet. Its features enable users to upload images and create conversations with individuals they share relationships with. However, it is critical for users to exercise necessary precautionary measures to protect their accounts from individuals they share no relationship with. How many individuals take the time to read privacy policies and users’ agreements? Many individuals are guilty of skimming through privacy policies and users’ agreements that govern these social media platforms. However, it is important for users to familiarize themselves with the rules and regulations that govern the uses of software and other applications. By selecting the “I Agree” option, you are signing an agreement that grants these companies exclusive access to your personal and confidential information saved on these platforms. It is frightening to believe that we are voluntarily giving these companies the right over our information. Users should develop a habit for reading privacy policies and users’ agreements and if possible refrain from selecting the “I Agree” option when against the rules and regulations that govern these social media platforms. In addition, it is vital for Facebook users to audit third-party websites, games and other applications that require Facebook. Some users are unware that they automatically grant permission for other individuals to view their accounts. Therefore, it is essential for users to review their accounts in the settings page and remove applications that are no longer in use or those that seem suspicious. Moreover, it is important for users to install tracker blockers. Many websites track the behavioral patterns of its users and share the data collected with third-party companies. As such, it is recommended that users of those social media platforms should install tracker blockers onto their web browsers. Tracker blockers prevent websites from tracking the clicks users have made. Furthermore, it is also important for users to install ad blockers. Hackers are purchasing advertising spots from popular websites with the intention to upload malicious ads. These attackers are creating avenues to illegally gain access to users’ personal and confidential information shared over the internet. Ad blockers are extensions that are installed onto web browsers that prevent ads from loading all at once. These extensions create safer browsing experience to its users. Most importantly, ad blockers disable ad servers from tracking you. Ad servers deliver ads and manage the advertising industry over the internet. However, users should be aware that ad servers also track and gather personal information and other content and sells it to third parties.

  49. Stefan Stangl March 23, 2018 at 10:11 pm #

    As I use social media all the time because I am a millennial, it scares me all the time that I am being watched, recorded, or even sold to other companies. And you know what? Facebook has been finally been caught doing so. Privacy no-a-days is becoming extinct. As most of our lives or cyber conversations are recorded via the internet it scares me to know that my information or data is being sold to other companies to stalk my life. the scariest parts are that hidden information is in the agree to terms sections because they are so long and tedious. I understand why, because of the fact that they can get sued for the littlest things but aren’t social media sites used for conveniency? Well it is not convenient to spend half a day reading a book on agreement terms. We use these sites out of trust and convenience and fun, yet we get sold for money. Companies cannot be trusted unless shown proof. Once they mess up their is no more trust, its like a relationship, but with your favorite social media accounts. Facebook is not going to last much longer, it already has been dying down and now with this issue of them selling data. They are going to go down with all the money they lost with it, which I believe was billions of dollars.

  50. Joe Russulle June 14, 2019 at 7:19 pm #

    In America, the topic of privacy is quite controversial as many could argue that their right to privacy is practically a joke. Nonetheless the Fourth Amendment to the Constitution of the United States ensures “the right of the people to be secure in their persons, houses, papers, and effects, against unreasonable searches and seizures, shall not be violated, and no warrants issued, but upon probable cause, supported by oath or affirmation, and particularly describing the place to be searched, and the persons or things to be seized.” Despite this, there are various examples, including this article that demonstrate violations towards the privacy of several individuals in America. An article published by the NYTimes reveals that companies sell, use or analyze data to cater to advertisers, retail outlets and hedge funds that may seek insights into consumer behavior. Moreover, these companies justify their snooping by explaining that their interest is in the patterns of individuals and not the identities that the data reveals about consumers. In fact, they note that “the information apps collect is tied not to someone’s name or phone number but a unique ID.” Additionally, these app developers argue that the reason for tracking is to understand more about who a person is, based on where they have been and where they are going, in order to influence what they might do next.
    The main blog article reveals the various ways many apps trick individuals into accepting to be tracked and monitored, but it does not express why these app developers wish to track people. Moreover, it depicts the tracking of individuals in a negative manner that may not be beneficial. It becomes clear that there are various benefits and disadvantages of being tracked by app developers. Nonetheless, the disadvantages seem to outweigh as it becomes an issue of privacy because people’s privacy rights are being legally violated. In fact, an article was written by Chen, Brian revealing that “a voter-profiling company that worked Donald J. Trump’s presidential campaign harvested private information from 50 million Facebook profiles. One would imagine that he or she would have to cease from browsing the web entirely or delete his/her account in order to prevent being monitored. However, employing safety measures such as installing software to block web tracking technologies and carefully vetting the apps one uses on Facebook could definitely help towards the prevention.
    While some may despise the idea of being tracked and monitored, it may sometimes be necessary. Sometimes, the violation of privacy may be justified particularly when it involves a state of national security or the lives of several others become endangered. Meaning that many app developers track and monitor to understand the behaviors of people. Therefore, it is possible that if people are plotting on participating in illegal and dubious activities, it may be beneficial to be able to track them somehow. These app developers make it easier to track and monitor illegal activities that happen all over the U.S. A recent article published by the NYPost revealed how Instagram is cracking down on selling illegal drugs by altering its algorithms and search system to possibly stay ahead of people who use the site’s hashtags to market drugs like Oxycontin, Percocet and others.
    Overall privacy is an important issue and one must exercise his or her rights to privacy. Other methods one may take to protect him/herself from data-harvesting apps includes auditing facebook apps/privacy setting, reading privacy policies, installing a tracker blocker/ad blocker and clearing one’s browsing data.

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