Invasion of Privacy – Facebook ads what can you do?

You are browsing in incognito mode, clear your history, and yet you are getting ads on the subject you were browsing. Feels like an Invasion of Privacy.

There is a scene in Parks and Recreation that illustrates the problem and how Ron solves it in a typical Ron “Freakin” Swanson way. You can watch it on YouTube;  “Parks and Recreation – Ron vs. Online Privacy (Episode Highlight)”

April: “There are these things called cookies, where like if you go to a site and buy something, it’ll remember you and create ads for other stuff you might want to buy”
Ron “So it learns information about me, seems like an invasion of privacy
April: “Dude, if you thank that’s bad, go to google earth and type in your address.”

As comical as Ron is, there are some practical steps you can take:

  1. Close other browser windows while surfing, then close or quit the browser.
  2. Use one of my favorite FREE tools CCleaner.There is both a Windows and Mac version.
  3. Turn off Ad personalization in Google.
    1. Go to Google my account page and then click on ‘Data & Personalization’ (left side)
    2. Scroll down this page and find the Ad personalization Click ‘Go to ad settings’ and click the button to turn ad personalization off. By switching this off, you’ll no longer see personalized ads on YouTube, in Google searches, or on websites that use Google advertising.
  4. Change Facebook Ad settings.
    1. Click the drop-down arrow next to the notification bar at the top right. On the drop-down menu that appears, click Settings.
    2. Click Ads on the left side. On the ‘Ads’ page you’ll have a number of options to choose from: Ads based on data from partners, Ads based on your activity on Facebook Company Products that you see elsewhere, and Ads that include your social actions

These steps may not stop all of the tracking, but what else can you do? Keep surfing or throw your computer in the trash like Ron Swanson.

Ron throws away computer