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Stop Facebook From Going Through Your Browsing History in 3 Easy Steps

Stop Facebook From Going Through Your Browsing History in 3 Easy Steps

We all know that Mark Zuckerberg and his Facebook buddies are prying into our personal data a bit more than they should. Even when there was no concrete proof, most were aware that there was something funky going on with the biggest social media website in history.

It would seem, however, that those in control of Facebook finally decided to come out and say, point blank, that they will use your browsing history to provide advertisers with the information they need to target you with more specialized ads.

How does this work? Well, basically speaking, when you visit certain websites they load these things called “cookies” onto your computer, which are used to help your browser remember which sites you like visiting for future reference. What Facebook is doing is using this data so that advertisers know what kinds of products you’re interested in. This means if you look for shoes or computers a lot, you’ll see more ads related to those items on Facebook.

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The only way to opt out of this is to manually change some settings. That’s right; they aren’t giving you any real options, you either find out on your own how to remove yourself from their new “service” or you’re stuck handing over your personal data to them. Infuriating? Yeah, just a little bit. Below you’ll find a step-by-step process by which you can release yourself from Zuckerberg’s grasp, at least by a tiny amount.

1. Go to the Digital Advertising Alliance’s website.

Here’s a link to it. Note that in order for this site to work properly, you’ll need to turn off AdBlocker Plus (or anything else that prevents cookies from being loaded onto your computer). Which is ironic in itself actually…a website that allows you to opt out of targeted ads…but disallows the use of AdBlocker. Huh.

    2. Find Facebook.

    Once you’re there, you’ll see the screen shown above. Click on “Companies Customizing Ads For Your Browser.” There you’ll see a list, and you’ll want to go down until you find “Facebook Inc.”

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      3. Tell Zuckerberg to spy on someone else!

      Once you’ve located Facebook, check the box next to its name (on the right hand side). While you’re at it, feel free to opt out of other website’s ad programs by checking them on this list as well.

      When you feel comfortable with your selections, click submit. It’ll take a moment to process, and then, you’re in the clear! Well, sort of. There are still a million other things out there on the internet stealing your data, but at least you’ll be protected from the almighty Facebook (well, mostly)!

      Of course, the only way to ensure your safety would be to stop using Facebook…

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      Bonus section: Dealing with the Facebook app.

      The above steps will protect you from the browser-based Facebook…but what about that app you use all of the time on your smartphone or tablet?

        iOS users

        If you’re an iPhone or iPad user, go to Settings, General, and then Restrictions. Scroll down to the section labeled Privacy, and tap on Advertising. Switch “Limit Ad Tracking” to on and you’ll be good.

          Android users

          For those of you with an Android device, go to your Google settings, find “Ads,” and check the box that says “opt out of interest-based ads.” Now you’ll be safe from creepy advertisements as well.

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          Will these protect you from all of Facebook’s data collection practices? Probably not, since it’s likely they do a ton of stuff in the background that they never tell us about. At the very least though, you can opt out of one of the creepier ways in which they track your browsing history, and for that we should be thankful.

          For more information on Facebook’s complete privacy policy, head here, and read through it to your heart’s content. You’ll probably find a lot of moderately disturbing stuff there.

          If you have any more privacy related tips or suggestions, feel free to comment below!

          Featured photo credit: Mark Zuckerberg/ Jim Merithew (Wired.com) via flickr.com

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          Last Updated on November 5, 2019

          5 Best Language Learning Apps to Master a New Language

          5 Best Language Learning Apps to Master a New Language

          Learning a new language is no easy feat. While a language instructor is irreplaceable, language learning apps have come to revolutionize a lot of things and it has made language learning much easier. Compared to language learning websites, apps offer a more interactive experience to learn a new language.

          The following language learning apps are the top recommended apps for your language learning needs:

          1. Duolingo

            Duolingo is a very successful app that merged gamification and language learning. According to Expanded Ramblings, the app now counts with 300 million users.

            Duolingo offers a unique concept, an easy-to-use app and is a great app to accompany your language acquisition journey. The courses are created by native speakers, so this is not data or algorithm-based.

            The app is free and has the upgrade options with Duolingo Plus for $9.99, which are add free lessons. The mobile app offers 25 languages and is popular for English-speaking learners learning other languages.

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            Download the app

            2. HelloTalk

              HelloTalk aims to facilitate speaking practice and eliminate the stresses of a real-time and life conversation. The app allows users to connect to native speakers and has a WhatsApp like chat that imitates its interface.

              There is a perk to this app. The same native speakers available also want to make an even exchange and learn your target language, so engagement is the name of the game.

              What’s more, the app has integrated translation function that bypasses the difficulties of sending a message with a missing word and instead fills in the gap.

              Download the app

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              3. Mindsnacks

                Remember that Duolingo has integrated gamification in language learning? Well, Mindsnacks takes the concept to another level. There is an extensive list of languages available within the app comes with eight to nine games designed to learn grammar, vocabulary listening.

                You will also be able to visualize your progress since the app integrates monitoring capabilities. The layout and interface is nothing short of enjoyable, cheerful and charming.

                Download the app

                4. Busuu

                  Bussu is a social language learning app. It is available on the web, Android, and iOS. It currently supports 12 languages and is free.

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                  The functionality allows users to learn words, simple dialogues and questions related to the conversations. In addition, the dialogues are recorded by native speakers, which brings you close to the language learning experience.

                  When you upgrade, you unlock important features including course materials. The subscription is $17 a month.

                  Download the app

                  5. Babbel

                    Babbel is a subscription-based service founded in 2008. According to LinguaLift, it is a paid cousing of Duolingo. The free version comes with 40 classes, and does not require you to invest any money.

                    Each of the classes starts with with a sequential teaching of vocabulary with the help of pictures. The courses are tailor made and adapted to the students’ level, allowing the learning to be adjusted accordingly.

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                    If you started learning a language and stopped, Babbel will help you pick up where you started.

                    Download the app

                    Takeaways

                    All the apps recommended are tailored for different needs, whether you’re beginning to learn a language or trying to pick back up one. All of them are designed by real-life native speakers and so provide you with a more concrete learning experience.

                    Since these apps are designed to adapt to different kinds of learning styles, do check out which one is the most suitable for you.

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                    Featured photo credit: Yura Fresh via unsplash.com

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