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Concerns Tech Users Have with Facebook Advertising

Facebook ads are getting more targeted to users and their search preferences. Here’s everything you need to know about Facebook ads and your online privacy.

Facebook has long been sending out ads that are heavily targeted to users based on their Facebook posts, interests, and searches through its Facebook Audience Network. Users are concerned because Facebook can track their behavior across the web, too, through the use of cookies that take note of which sites they have visited, or items they have thought about purchasing.

When you then visit the social networking app or the Facebook website, you’ll receive ads targeted to your browsing preferences. That might already be a little too Big Brother for some users. But here’s the kicker: Facebook also sends out ads to Internet users who don’t even have Facebook accounts. How? The ads are generated based on the websites users browse.

Read More: How to Use the Facebook App Like a Pro

The company suggests that they have the ads under control. They say that they only send out ads that aren’t deceptive and don’t have sound, so the Facebook-controlled ads are arguably less intrusive than other ads. Plus, the company says, if you’re going to see ads anyway, you might as well see something you’re interested in seeing. But, regardless of Facebook’s justification, some users still don’t want to be tracked or marketed to by Facebook. The following will tell you how to turn off the ad tracking once and for all.

For Facebook Users

In the left-hand side of your settings bar, click on “Ads.” There, you will see a column that says, “Ads based on my preferences.” Here, you can click on “Visit ad preferences.” There, you can limit or disable browsing-tracking and tailor your ads.

For Non-Facebook Users

If you’re not a Facebook user, you can stop ad tracking by setting certain preferences on your phone. On your desktop browser, you can opt out of ads entirely by signing up with the Digital Advertising Alliance, a service that lets you opt out of browsing-tracking altogether. Make sure to do this on every browser that you use.

On your phone, though, you can also turn off tracking. To do it, follow these steps:

  1. Navigate to “Settings.”
  2. There, click on “Google” and then “Ads.”
  3. There, choose “Opt out of interest-based ads.”

Now, Facebook and other tracking services won’t keep track of your browsing! Unfortunately, Facebook users can’t be entirely private online or completely opt out of the social media network selling their information to other companies. If you don’t want to deal with online tracking or targeted ads, then you’ll have to avoid Facebook — and really, any online activity — all together.