Tag Archives: facebook privacy

See What Facebook Knows About You (and sells to advertisers)

More than 18 million of us are on Facebook (FB), and for those under 35, it’s over 80%. That means millions of us are being marketed to every day. And you have to remember that you are NOT their customer. Their customers are the people paying them – and that’s advertisers. You’re just their product.

That FB readily and frequently sells all of your data and friends list became very public with the Cambridge Analytica scandal. Since then, FB has made it possible for you to actually see what they have on you, and it’ll be quite a surprise.

You can now go into your notifications, then settings and pull something called “your FB information.” I did that last week, and after five hours, FB sent me an email that it was ready. After 11 years on FB, the file was 14mb in about 50 different categories.

Here are the exact steps to pull yours:

Notifications – Settings – General – On top you’ll have Your Facebook Information – Download your information (just make sure all items are checked off) Then click “create file” and you’ll get an email that they’re working on it. Then a second email when it’s ready for you to download and view.

Ad interests: This is a long and complete list FB has of the ads to really target to me. These are the industries that will pay extra to target me because FB thinks it’s something I’m really interest in. If that were true, it’d be something I’m more likely to click on and buy. Some are legit, such as books, personality types, publishing, and anything to do with Arizona. Some are totally out to lunch: Continental airlines? One of the worst in North America? Reality shows, Virgin mobile, and dance troupes are out to lunch. And FB now thinks I’m looking for hair products ads. Wrong…but I didn’t catch why they think that until I saw that I had “liked” a post from a hair salon who is my client. That one click now has a dozen advertisers target me as interested.

Advertisers who uploaded my contact list to use: That’s scary if you don’t have your privacy settings locked down. In my case, they tried and didn’t get it. It’s a list of over 100 companies, 80% of which I’ve never heard of.

Comments is a section of everything over the past 11 years that I’ve ever posted on Facebook to someone. That’s pretty scary. It comes from my browser which I clean up regularly, but FB has it all and remembers it. The posts section gave me the thousands of people and every item they had ever posted on my page. That’s from 2,000 people I’m on FB with over 11 years…

Messages section has every note you’ve ever sent to someone, even if you deleted (unfriended) them. This is where you’ll find the painful reminders, and all the exchanges with your ex-spouse or the likes. FB keeps it to use keywords to market to you, just like Google looks through your emails.

My login history gives me the full list of every single time I’ve logged into FB. It’s down to second and which of my computers and what browser. Guess I can use that as an alibi if I ever get arrested to prove I couldn’t have been at the crime scene as I was on FB at the time…

The lessons, other than the shock of seeing what FB really knows about you is that you have to lock down your account. Spend the two minutes b going to settings – then the privacy section. Change the “who can see your posts and who can see your friends list (that should be “nobody”). Go to ads and click that they’re not allowed to use your information and lastly, go to “apps and websites” and select only those shown who you’ll allow to access all your information.

Finally, here is the article from CNN that gave me incentive to go look. The insights from their writer are worth reading: http://money.cnn.com/2018/03/24/technology/facebook-data/index.html

George Boelcke – Money Tools & Rules book – yourmoneybook.com

Do You WANT Your Identity Stolen?

Identity theft is one of the fastest growing crimes in the country. It is really nasty, very time consuming to deal with, a LOT of hassle, and it is only going to continue to grow for years to come. Almost everything law enforcement can do is after the fact, and that puts the onus on us to protect ourselves.

One of my biggest pet peeves is people on their cell phones in public. More so, when they have a loud voice, and really seem to want the whole world to hear their conversations. I’m sharing that for a reason, because two weeks ago, I was in the business class lounge at the Denver airport, looking for an hour of peace and quiet. Unfortunately, it turned out I was stuck three seats down from a man named Walter, and Walter was on a mission. He was on the worlds’ longest phone call to Wells Fargo attempting to get the interest income on one of his wife’s accounts for his tax return.

It was obvious from the one side of the conversation that Walter was not having much luck. Gee, like he couldn’t have guessed that privacy laws don’t give him access to other people’s financial information.! But, undeterred, Walter barged ahead.

The first thing he shared, in his rather loud voice, was his social security number and date of birth. That was just the beginning with what the customer service rep was obviously asking him, in order to establish his identity. That was followed by his Wells Fargo credit card number and security code. Becoming more frustrated that he wasn’t getting anywhere, the next thing Walter volunteered was his personal account number and transit number where his main investments were held.

By now, anyone who was interested in Walter had more than enough information to steal his identity, and over $50,000 out of his accounts, based on what a frustrated Walter shared during his call. To my way of thinking, it was not only rude, but totally irresponsible! But think about how much of your information is so easily accessible while you’re having a chuckle about Walter’s stupidity. From your Facebook privacy settings, to not having virus software when you do your on-line banking, or simply throwing mail with all kinds of personal information in the garbage, it’s you that has to be pro-active.

You cannot simply pay $10 to $20 a month to someone and hope everything will be OK. Hope is the worst form of identity theft protection. Unfortunately, nine out of every ten companies that promise to protect you do no such thing. Based on our population, around four percent of us will fall victim to identity theft in a year. As a result, these companies who promise to protect you are playing a numbers game. They receive huge amounts of money each month in premiums, and have to pay out only about four percent – if anything at all! In the meantime, millions of people are paying monthly premiums, thinking and hoping that they’re protected.

The basic, simple, easy, and common sense things you have to do:

-Don’t keep your entire life in your wallet or purse. You do not need to have access to 10 credit cards, your social insurance number, and a bunch of other personal stuff that identity thieves would love to have.
-Get a shredder and use it. Do not put personal papers or credit card mailings directly into your recycling or garbage.
-Always, always check your credit card and bank statements for something strange or unauthorized. You only have 60 days to challenge something or you own it, and have to pay it.
-If you have had your identity stolen, your first stop is the police station. I don’t care if it was a relative or stranger. You have to protect yourself and that starts with filing a report or creditors tend not to believe you – and rightly so.