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How does Off-Facebook activity work, and is it really useful?

By John Mwaniki | April 17, 2020 |

greater than 4 minutes

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A lot has been said about a Facebook feature that was released some time back to give users better control over which services and apps can access and share their Facebook data. The Off-Facebook Activity tool plays a vital role, especially when you want to stop Facebook from tracking and sharing your data.

Before the introduction of this feature, Facebook was going through a lot of criticism on its privacy approach and management. This element was one of the ways for the company to protect its users, thus rebuilding the trust. The tool allows users to have control over their Facebook data. It also allows them to manage what data Facebook can receive from other services and applications.

Can Facebook see my web activity?

Some users do not realize the extent to which Facebook can go in digging information about them. It is quite amazing how the platform can quickly remind you about an anniversary with a family or resurface photos that you uploaded years ago. While that is not harmful, there is a deeper form of tracking or stalking that makes you feel like the company is interfering with your life. Facebook is capable of stretching to other sites and apps that you are using on your phone and computer, places you go to, or stores where you love to shop, primarily if you use Facebook while there.

Whether you want to hide your web activities depends on how much you trust Facebook. This social media platform says that it extracts that information to show its users relevant ads and keep them safe. For example, if someone who is nowhere close to you tries to log into your account, Facebook will automatically note that they are hacking your account and will flag that as a suspicious activity.

However, there have been lots of complaints about how this company uses its users’ data. People feel that there has been some form of recklessness in the way other organizations share the users’ information. Facebook is also connected to other apps like Instagram and Whatsapp and can acquire some information from those apps.

Facebook receives information on a range of interactions that you make. This basically means the activities that you do on a site or app.

Some of the interactions include:

  • opening an app
  • viewing content
  • logging into an app account using Facebook
  • making a product or service search
  • making donations
  • buying an item

To curb such issues, Facebook came up with the Off-Facebook Activity tool.

What is Off-Facebook Activity?

This is a tool that allows you to see and control the amount of data that sites and apps share with Facebook. This in turn helps you to monitor the data that third-party apps can acquire. With this privacy tool, you can quickly clear history on websites and apps that have shared your information. You can also turn off off-Facebook activities so that you can disconnect any information and data that this social media platform has shared. You may also do this selectively, allowing some apps and sites to share your activity and leaving others out.

How does this tool work?

You can easily view what information other sites and apps have shared with Facebook by using Facebook’s business tools. If you do not want Facebook to share that information, you can clear it and turn off the future off-Facebook activity. This will prevent Facebook from sharing the data now and in the future. This allows you to control all the apps and websites that you visit. You no longer have to worry about Facebook accessing your search information when you do something on Google or other apps like Instagram or dating apps. To do this, you should go to Settings > Your Facebook Information and click on Off-Facebook Activity. You will be given options to clear history and turn off the activity to ensure that this does not happen in the future.

By clearing history, you clear all the information managed by this privacy tool. Facebook will remove any information that the marked sites and apps share. This means that this social media company will no longer know which apps or websites you have visited, and this in turn ensures that you do not get targeted ads from them. You should, however, note that this activity does not delete your data. It just makes it anonymous.

What data is eliminated by the privacy tool?

This feature anonymizes data from apps and websites, so it is no longer connected to your Facebook. Once you manage your off-Facebook activity, it should take up to 48 hours for it to take full effect. Some individuals make the mistake of assuming that the tool deletes their data while it just works by disconnecting the information from the Facebook profile. You cannot delete your browsing history using this tool. Facebook still acquires data from the third-party sites and applications, but with this tool, it assigns an ID to every activity rather than linking it to your profile. This means that as much as the company keeps harvesting data, it keeps everything anonymous.

Although Facebook still has access to a range of data regarding internet activities, it is a remarkable improvement in matters concerning privacy. You can confidently use apps or visit any site without being skeptical that someone is watching you or could expose you.

Is Off-Facebook Activity useful?

Yes, it is super useful. There has been a fall in complaints from people who felt that Facebook was intruding on or interfering with their privacy. Although the social media platform still gets hold of your browsing data, you do not have to worry about the information being linked to your profile. You also no longer have to deal with those annoying and irrelevant ads from every site that you visit.

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Off-Facebook Activity is a major improvement in terms of user protection. It has significantly helped Facebook to rebuild its trust. However, to enhance your security even further, you also need to ensure that your device is protected from malicious agents and hackers that are trying to steal data. Install reliable anti-malware software for the enhanced security of your personal data and protection against hackers.

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