The Right Way Facebook Knows So Much About You (and How to Stop It)

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Is Facebook always listening? The truth is, it does not have to.

Big Tech companies have much easier ways to gather information about you. Tag Google. If you use Gmail, Google Drive, YouTube, Google Podcasts, and an Android phone, think of every bit of information you willingly share. Tap or click to delete what Google knows about you.

On Facebook, your activity talks a lot. Say you’re in a “buy nothing” group. Facebook might be guessing that you value sustainability or just love saving money. This detail goes into its very specific profile of you. Click or click here to get free stuff in your neighborhood.

Facebook also knows what you are doing elsewhere because you may have connected apps sharing your data. You can stop that.

A smartphone with the Facebook logo is seen in front of the Facebook's new rebrand logo Meta.  REUTERS / Dado Ruvic / Illustration

A smartphone with the Facebook logo is seen in front of the Facebook’s new rebrand logo Meta. REUTERS / Dado Ruvic / Illustration

See the apps and games you added to Facebook

If you’ve clicked “Connect to Facebook” or enabled apps or games directly through Facebook over the years, you may have lots of third parties watching what you do. How to check.

On a computer:

  • Click the down arrow at the top right of Facebook.
  • Press Settings and privacy > Settings.
  • choose Apps and websites in the menu on the left.

On Android:

  • Open the Facebook app. Press three horizontal lines in the upper right corner.
  • choose Settings and privacy > Settings.
  • Scroll down to Securityand then click Apps and websites.
  • choose Logged in with Facebook.

On an iPhone:

  • Open the Facebook app and press three-line menu bottom right.
  • choose Settings and privacy > Settings.
  • Scroll down to Permits section, and then click Apps and websites.

I bet you’ll be surprised to see everything that has access to your account – and what receives your data.

RELATED: Stop Facebook from eating your storage space and draining your battery

Remove connected apps from Facebook

The best way to get more privacy is to prevent these apps from communicating with each other. They have a large network they use to share your data.

When you reach Apps and Sites by following the steps above, you will see a list of the many apps and sites associated with Facebook.

Hit Remove next to each app to prevent them from collecting your data and sharing information with Facebook.

Removing an app from the App Center means that it can no longer access your data. However, this does not delete the data the app already has about you – it just prevents future sharing. It may still have a profile in its records. You can contact the developer directly to ask them to delete this information.

Apps you remove from the App Center can still send you emails. Just open all unwanted emails and click the unsubscribe button.

You lose access to the game or app, so be sure you’re OK if you lose many years of high score if you remove a favorite from your Facebook account.

Bonus tip: 5 Ways To Clean Up Your Photos Before It’s Too Late

We all have far more pictures than we know what to do with. Between your physical albums and the digital photos that clog your phones and computers, you probably have so many photos that it’s hard to organize them all. I share clever strategies for tidying up your huge photo collection in this episode.

Check out my podcast “Kim Komando Explains” at Apple, Google Podcasts, Spotifyor your favorite podcast player.

Listen to the podcast here or wherever you now get your podcasts. Just search for my last name, “Command.”

What digital lifestyle questions do you have? Call Kim’s National Radio Program and press or click here to find it on your local radio station. You can listen to or watch The Kim Komando Show on your phone, tablet, television or computer. Or click or click here for Kim’s free podcasts.

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Learn about all the latest technology at The Kim Komando Show, the country’s largest weekend radio talk show. Kim accepts calls and advises on today’s digital lifestyle, from smartphones and tablets to online privacy and data hacking. For her daily tips, free newsletters and more, visit her website at Komando.com.

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