Facebook tracks us even when we’re not on Facebook.
Through relationships with hundreds of thousands of apps, websites, and other services, the company receives a constant stream of information about what most of us do online and even where we go in the real world.
If all of that sounds like oversharing, Consumer Reports explains that you may be able to limit what Facebook does with the information it collects.
About a month ago Facebook introduced what it calls Off-Facebook Activity settings and Consumer Reports has been taking a close look.
What Facebook ultimately decided to do was to give you a menu to see the last six months of updates the company got from third parties.
You can also use a tool called Clear History.
That doesn’t actually delete your information, but it disconnects it from your account.
There’s no way to stop the company from collecting your Off-Facebook data in the first place.
But for some peace of mind, there’s a way to limit what Facebook does with any new data going forward.
There’s another setting called Manage Future Activity, and if you use it, you can essentially keep your history cleared by default.
Other companies will keep sending Facebook information, but Facebook won’t be able to use it for targeted advertising and it won’t keep it tied to your account.
But turning off that setting will disable the Facebook Login tool, which lets you sign in to other
apps and websites using your Facebook credentials.
So in a way, you’re trading privacy for convenience. But it might be worth it.
Finding these privacy settings isn’t always easy.
You can find Consumer Reports' step-by-step instructions to clear your history and manage your future activity by going here.