Facebook is the undisputed king of social media.
It’s the biggest platform on the internet, it’s where you go to get updates from your friends, it can send you the latest news, and it has the most active users on the planet.
But the social network has also been plagued by problems with privacy, which have led to a number of lawsuits.
How do you protect your data?
Read moreFacebook has been in trouble before, with the US government accusing the social networking platform of violating users’ privacy by storing user data in their cloud.
And recently, the US Federal Trade Commission (FTC) issued a warning about Facebook’s privacy practices, saying the platform “has not been able to provide enough assurances that its practices are appropriate”.
Facebook says it is taking its privacy practices “very seriously” and has updated its privacy policies.
Here are some of the issues that have arisen, and what you can do about them.
How does Facebook keep your data safe?
Facebook says it has worked with law enforcement, government regulators and experts to build and implement a system that keeps data from being shared without your permission.
The company says the privacy of users is a top priority.
“We work closely with government regulators to ensure that they understand and abide by the law,” a Facebook spokesperson told the BBC.
How can I change my privacy settings?
Facebook has three main privacy settings for your account, but it’s a lot of work to change each one.
There’s the “privacy setting” that tells Facebook what information your account can and cannot show.
“You can change this setting to remove certain things like the name of your friends and location,” a company spokesperson told us.
“If you want to restrict your friend list to specific countries, or restrict the time you can see certain things on your friends list, you can also do that.”
The “privilege” setting lets you choose which data you’d like to keep when you log into your Facebook account.
Facebook will tell you if your profile has been linked to other accounts, or if your friends have changed your email address.
“To make sure your privacy settings are respected and that we can work to keep your information safe, we have a team of people working closely with governments and regulatory agencies around the world to monitor our compliance with privacy laws,” a spokesperson told The Guardian.
If you do want to change your privacy setting, you’ll need to visit the Facebook site and choose the “settings” tab.
What can I do to protect my data?
Facebook does have a number measures in place to protect your personal information, such as a list of the websites you visit and the content you share.
You can also change your settings to block people from logging into your account or deleting content that you find offensive or objectionable.
Privacy settings also have limits.
If someone has access to your account without your consent, for example, they may be able to access your account to see your private messages and to contact you with unsolicited messages.
Facebook has also said it will work with users to get rid of offensive content and will remove any content that “disrupts the functioning of Facebook”.
It’s important to understand how Facebook protects your data, as some of its policies are very different to those of the US or UK.
For example, it won’t store data about your friends or other users, and Facebook won’t share information about your browsing history or posts about you with third parties.