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How to update your Facebook privacy settings – or delete your profile

Not too long ago, the Cambridge Analytica scandal surfaced, as you'll remember I'm safe. Since then, people know how much their private information is not only available to Facebook, but also anyone who has the smart enough to get this information. Some people may wonder what they can do to tighten their Facebook privacy settings to prevent future data from being used for nefarious purposes.

  Facebook login

The good news is that Facebook has already taken action to prevent this happening to Cambridge Analytica. In fact, the company resolved this issue years ago when it dropped the ability for Facebook apps to get private information from their Facebook friends.

Continue reading: How to optimize your Instagram privacy settings

But if that's not enough to sleep at night, you can always change or leave your privacy settings on Facebook.

Denying access to apps to your account

  Facebook privacy settings deny access to apps

to Settings> Apps If you're logged in to your Facebook profile, a list of Apps that you've received at a given time with access to your Facebook information. You'll probably remember making all of them, but if there are any that you do not know, you should click on the "X" next to the image of this app.

Some apps have more access to your account than others. If you want to keep an app but have too much access, click the pencil icon next to the app. A pop-up window allows you to remove certain types of access, such as your photos, work history, birthday, and so on.

If there are apps that you have approved but no longer use, feel free to delete them as well. You can grant access to an app at any time if you want to use it again.

Deny access to your friends 'apps

  Apps that others use Facebook Deny access to your friends' apps

When you scroll down Somewhat on the apps settings page becomes a box with the name Apps Others Use displayed. Click on the "Edit" button and you will see the updated version of the section of Facebook that Cambridge Analytica 2015 took advantage of.

If a friend grants you access to an app, then this app has access to some of your information. Facebook has drastically reduced the number of access apps installed by your friends when it comes to your own information, but as you can see from the list, there is still a lot to see.

You can clear anything in this box if it suits you. All that's going to happen is that if your friends use an app that somehow connects with their friends, they'll be dropped. Seems a decent compromise.

Disable Your Account

  Disable the Facebook screen

It's pretty easy to disable your account. Deactivation will remove your profile from Facebook, but all information will be stored on Facebook's servers. If you want to re-enable your account later, you can be back on Facebook with just a few clicks, as if nothing had happened before.

To make it clear that your information is not publicly visible when the profile is disabled, regardless of which apps have previously granted you access to your profile. However, your information is still there, so this is not as safe as deleting your account. For most users, this is fine.

To disable your account, go to Settings> General> Manage Account and then click "Disable Your Account". You will be asked to enter your password and then a page will be displayed on Facebook explaining what happens when you disable it. You must also specify a reason for deactivation, and you can fill in a text box with more information if you wish.

At the bottom of this page is the "Disable" button. If you do, your profile will be immediately removed from Facebook. Just log back in to re-enable it, and you'll go through a series of prompts to restore your profile. Everything will be like after reactivation, all photos, status updates and apps are back online.

Delete Account

  delete facebook

Facebook does not want you to delete your account. In fact, you're jumping through a series of records to permanently remove your information, and instead you're constantly being forced to deactivate.

However, if you are dead from Facebook, the first thing you want is to back up your data. With Facebook you can download a ZIP file with all your photos and personal data. Deleting your profile will also delete your reminders. Go to Settings> General and at the bottom click on "Download a copy of your Facebook data". Then click "Start My Archive" to get the ZIP file up and running.

Obviously, if your profile is a decade old and full of photos, that may take a while.

If you have created a backup, you can delete your account by clicking this link. Do not try to search for an account in the Settings section of your profile, as the link does not exist. You need to go to the support section to find the link, as Facebook hides it there.

If you're on the "Delete My Account" page, just press the big blue button. You must enter a CAPTCHA string, and then you can permanently remove your data.

However, there are a few things you should keep in mind. If you delete your account, it will first be disabled by Facebook. There is a two-week wait in which Facebook prompts you to reactivate. Then, when these two weeks have passed, Facebook will begin to clear your account with the 90-day process. And once it's gone, it's over forever.

Did you change your privacy settings on Facebook, leave the Internet, or leave things as they are? Tell us in the comments which of these steps you have taken and how you feel about your privacy on Facebook.

NEXT: Delete Facebook. They are back.

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