With the recent Cambridge Analytica scandal, Facebook users across the globe are now questioning exactly how their data is being stored, gathered and used. Fortunately, Facebook is equipped with various privacy levels, blocking abilities and data-gathering settings. However, you may be wondering where to start making sense of the dizzying array of privacy options offered by the world’s largest online social network. As a result, we’ve compiled a quick and simple list below to help you manoeuvre them all.

Read below to find out more!

How to Adjust Privacy Levels

Facebook boasts a slew of privacy levels pertaining to different content, whether it’s your friend list, status updates, or photos. Facebook users can adjust the privacy settings and limit profile access at any time, allowing greater specificity when choosing who can view selected content.

  • Everyone: Grants access to anyone on the Internet.
  • Friends: Grants access to only those who are your friend on Facebook.
  • Friends of Friends: Grants access to those who are your friend on Facebook, as well as their friends.
  • Friends Except: Grants access to all friends except for a specific group or individual users that you choose.
  • Specific Friends: Grants access to only the friends you choose, either individually or through friend lists.
  • Only Me: Grants access only to you. Helpful if you want the post to show up on your Facebook Memories in a year or if you have to grant an app access to post on your behalf.

How to Manage Ads Targeted to You

You can’t turn Facebook ads off — but you can keep your personal data out of it, if you choose.

At the top of the ads settings, the category with “Your Interests” includes any interests that Facebook may use to deliver targeted ads. These interests are based on Pages and Ads that you’ve clicked on in the past. If there’s a particular interest you don’t want Facebook using, hover over the interest and then click the X.

The next section lists advertisers you’ve interacted with in the past — businesses can choose to target users that have interacted with them before. The remaining tabs in this section include websites and apps you’ve used, ads you’ve clicked and Pages you’ve visited. Deleting any advertiser here is the same — just hover over the icon and click the X.

In the information category, you can choose what profile details you allow advertisers to use for targeting. In the first “about you” tab, just click the switch to turn access to information like your job, relationship status and education on or off. The second tab, called “your categories,” allows you to delete categories that you are placed in for ads.

Under Ad Settings, you can choose whether or not to allow partners to use data on your online activity off Facebook, if Facebook can use your data in advertisements off Facebook itself, and if your friends can see if you liked or otherwise interacted with an advertisement.

How to Manage Blocking

If you want to take steps to keep people, apps, pages or events away from your profile, this is the section for you.

If you don’t want to un-friend somebody but also don’t want them to see all of your information, posts or photos, you can add them to the Restricted List. This means they can see your public information, but they have no way of knowing you’ve limited their view.

You can also just straight up block somebody. This means this person cannot be your friend. This is an excellent setting if you have someone consistently bothering you. Note that this does not stop them from interacting with you in apps, games or groups you’re both a part of.

Block messages If you’re receiving unwelcome messages and video calls from someone, you can put a stop to that – and it carries over to the Messenger app too. However, the user in question will still be able to post to your Timeline unless you block them as a user (above).

Tired of the same person inviting you to events you’d never think about attending? Typing the name of the Facebook user into this section will stop you from seeing any future event invites from that person.

Some apps and Facebook games are great fun at first, but after a while, you want to drop them. You can remove the app or game (see the Apps you use section, below) or block the app, which means it can no longer contact you or get non-public information about you through Facebook. If you are getting emails from the app, you will have to use the unsubscribe link at the bottom of the email.

If a Facebook page is bombarding you with updates, thankfully you can block them. By blocking a Facebook page, you’ll also automatically unlike and unfollow the Page. You can also block other Pages (i.e., public pages for businesses and celebrities) from commenting on or liking your posts.

For a full guide on how to manage your privacy settings, Facebook has provided a very simple and easy to use section on their website. This section provided by Facebook has step-by-step instructions on how to control a whole host of privacy settings. Visit their site here!

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