How to better balance social media experience with privacy

Similar to Google monitoring online activity, social media platforms track likes, comments, and other actions to deliver personalized content and targeted advertisements. This can both add to the user experience and lead to questions about privacy.

Whether you’re searching for a new job on LinkedIn or scrolling through your Facebook and Instagram newsfeeds, you’ve likely noticed ads and suggested posts from things you haven’t followed. Each social media platform tracks things a bit differently.

Facebook tracks user engagement, to understand how you interact with their platform to optimize your scrolling experience. User engagement can be likes, comments, watching a video, or even as simple as clicking on a post to read all of it.
Facebook also gathers data from other websites and apps to show ads related to your interests and online activities. They can track your location and use it for targeted advertisements specific to the area you’re located in.
Similar to Facebook, Instagram tracks your preferences through likes, comments, follows, and geotagging. Geotagging is when you make a post that includes your location, which allows more people to see your post. It also allows Instagram to provide personalized content recommendations, targeted ads, and location-specific sponsored posts.
LinkedIn monitors your comments and interactions, to create a unique user feed. The platform also tracks job search activities to present personalized job recommendations and show relevant ads tailored by professional skills.
Privacy concerns and user options

Users agree to some tracking just by using social media. Many people appreciate the customization that tracking provides. It can save time and introduce you to new products and services.

If you are concerned about privacy, social media platforms offer options to control privacy settings. Make sure to regularly review and adjust your settings within each platform to maintain your desired level of privacy regarding your personal information.

To make changes, look under your profile for “Settings & Privacy” within each platform. From this page you can review and adjust things like who can see what you share and what personal information you’ve made public.

Another way to maintain privacy is to disable location tracking on your smartphone for each individual app.

For an Android phone, go to Settings, Privacy, Location, App (LinkedIn, Facebook, Instagram), then click Deny.

For an iPhone, go to Settings, Privacy & Security, Location Services, App (LinkedIn, Facebook, Instagram), then click Never or While Using the App.You can also turn off ALL location services for your smartphone – regardless of what app you’re using – if you prefer not to receive ads specific to the area you’re located. Here’s how:

For an Android, go to Settings, Privacy, Location, then toggle the switch off.

For an iPhone, go to Settings, Privacy & Security, Location Services, then toggle the switch off.

There are downsides to turning off location services. For example, location services must be enabled to use the mapping feature. And while receiving fewer ads may seem like an overall positive, there may be times when you would like to receive targeted ads about services in the area, such as when you’re on vacation.

Golden West does not endorse any product or service it does not sell.
Sources: Business Insider, Forbes, Norton, ZME Science



Article Archives

Stories You Might Also Like

Digitize photos to preserve precious lifetime memories

Digitize photos to preserve precious lifetime memories

Digitizing your photos isn’t just about preserving your past; it also provides the benefits of saving space, easy access and sharing, and protection against the unpredictable. Your memories can shine as bright as the day you captured them. Digitization ensures they remain vivid and accessible for generations to come.

read more
Soaking Up History

Soaking Up History

Kara’s commitment to her community shines through as she bridges the past with the present, offering a unique spa experience that connects both visitors and locals. Those who visit Moccasin Springs can soak up history and leave refreshed!

read more
IYKYK: A guide to popular online abbreviated slang

IYKYK: A guide to popular online abbreviated slang

Language has always been evolving, and online slang is no exception. From ancient hieroglyphics to today’s text messages, we’ve come a long way in shortening our words. If you’re still wondering what “IYKYK” means, you definitely need to read this!

read more