Your Facebook Data – What You Need to Know

Data security on social media platforms has been an issue for some time now. As you may know, Facebook has been under fire since the Cambridge Analytica scandal and many users are unsure how safe their data really is. Well, the good news is that you can now take steps yourself to secure your data and stop others from tracking your movement on the internet when using certain applications. How? Well, a new add-on to Mozilla’s Firefox browser prevents Facebook from tracking you. Mozilla’s new Facebook Container extension means that if you log into Facebook and then visit another website, your online movements cannot be tracked and associated with your profile. That’s a big improvement, isn’t it? Since most of us use Facebook in our daily lives, whether for personal use or business, and most of us aren’t too keen on the idea of our every action being monitored, this is a huge step in the right direction. We need the security of knowing that our data, and information is safe and can’t be accessed by anyone else. So, I would strongly recommend you think about using Firefox. It’s a great browser anyway.

Another interesting point for you to think about is this: Since 2010, anyone can access and download their own data. Most people have been completely unaware of this. In the wake of the Cambridge Analytica scandal, Facebook has made it clearer exactly how users can access all their data. You have full access to everything Facebook has! Everything you have ever posted or done on your Facebook profile is available to you. This data can be downloaded, providing you with access to your archives, it can be downloaded and stored and is as easy as 1,2,3. Ok, there are pros and cons here on a personal level – it can be quite scary looking back in time in such detail for all sorts of reasons. But it’s a great feature and has all sorts of uses if you need to locate something from your past.

How to access your data

On your Facebook profile, click the small arrow at the top right-hand side of the screen, select Settings from the menu. In the bottom left of your General Account Settings, you will find the line of text that says, “Download a copy of your Facebook data”, click this link.

This will take you to the page where you can download your archive. Click the big green “Download Archive” button, this will begin your download.

Your data archive will include the following information;

  • Your profile (timeline) information, e.g. your contact information, interests and groups.
  • Wall (timeline) posts and content that you and your friends have posted to your profile (timeline).
  • Photos and videos that you have uploaded to your account.
  • Your friends list.
  • Notes you have created.
  • Events to which you have RSVP’d.
  • Your sent and received messages.
  • Any comments that you and your friends have made on your Wall (timeline) posts, photos, and other profile (timeline) content.

Will we ever feel safe on Facebook again? Who knows, but for now we at least have the reassurance that we can see data that Facebook has already stored on us.