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Be Careful What You ‘like’ on Facebook

by Kurt Knutsson

Every “like” you click defines who you are to Facebook. According to researchers at the University of Cambridge, what you “Like” can also reveal some deeply personal things that you have no idea you are sharing by showing what you like and don’t like in your timeline.

Whether you know it or not, every move you make on Facebook is recorded and often calculated to identify parts of who you really are. From understanding the basics you share already like occupation, location, age, marital status, it would come as no surprise that advertisers and partners to Facebook can target you with particular ads unique to you.

Be Careful What You Like On Facebook

It’s not the stuff you know you are sharing, it’s the little things adding up that you never thought you are sharing in social media that is aiding Facebook in diving deeper into your personal life. A free app made by the University of Cambridge researchers is designed to give you a cursory idea of what social media sites are taking from your life. Apply Magic Sauce app may be able to see who you lean toward politically, where you shop, your demeanor in life, whether you are more laid back and easily influenced or a stubborn A type personality, regularly happy or living in troubled waters, and even take a stab at your sexual orientation based on what you share and like online having never admitted anything about yourself.

If you want to help stop Facebook from sharing all of your personal likes, there is an opt-out page from the digital advertising alliance that regulates a bit of what is and isn’t shared with third parties and advertisers:

  • Launch Facebook
  • Click the downward facing tick triangle at the upper right of the screen.
  • Select “Settings”
  • then “Ads” to define limitations.

The extreme reaction would be to bail on Facebook altogether, but most agree there is a fair trade off of information in exchange for the experience offered in social media without paying a fee. It’s up to you to define what balance of sharing feels right to you. And as of this moment, a few parts of your life are still somewhat controllable in these settings and in privacy settings on Facebook.

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