What you need to know about protecting your Facebook and other online data

Austin

Facebook founder and  CEO Mark Zuckerberg is in Washington D.C. this week. Monday, he met privately with key lawmakers. Monday is also the day Facebook started notifying millions of users whose information was shared with Cambridge Analytica.

A local security expert told KXAN if you receive this notification, don’t panic and stay calm. 

“It’s always good to be concerned about how much data is shared with the third party and what purposes the data is used for and whether or not that third party can share it with yet another entity or company,” Elizabeth Rogers, a partner at Michael Best, said.

She went to explain, however, “My understanding of the agreement is there was a destruction requirement, destruction of all data after the research was finalized, so if that was in the agreement, that needs to be enforced.”

Rogers said Facebook’s problem is that the data was shared without the user’s knowledge. “We decide on our own who sees that, generally speaking. We look at the settings on Facebook. We create the privacy we wish to apply it.”

“So the breach, in this case, occurred because for many people who want their Facebook profile to only be viewable by their friends, or by a limited number of people, the profile was released to a company that they had no awareness receiving the data,” Rogers added.

She said going forward, always make sure you read and understand how your data will be used, especially if that website stores your banking information.

Experts say every company, whether it’s a social media platform or an online shopping site, should have a page that tells you with whom they share your information and how they store your data.

For Facebook, if you’re on the newsfeed page, it’s under “privacy” at the bottom of the right-hand side column. 

And for many websites, Rogers said “You just have to actually go to your computer, versus the application on your phone.”

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