Advertisers on Facebook leverage your name

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Drew explains how advertisers on Facebook are using your name to help promote their brands and how to update your settings to prevent it from happening.

Facebook is well known for its ‘sneaky’ privacy updates and inclusion of features with settings adjusted to a default which benefits the company and this recent update is no different. The setting in question is called ‘Ads & Friends’ and it allows advertisers to leverage the names of their followers to increase page likes.

So how does it work?
When an advertiser places an advert on Facebook, the advert is linked to their account and, in-turn, the names of the people who like that page are used to increase the likelihood of one of their friends liking that page. This is clearly demonstrated by the example from Super Koupon’s with my friend’s name ‘Juliette Son’ displayed as liking the brand.

To change your settings so that your name is not displayed against brands, open up Facebook in your web browser. At the top-right-hand side of the screen will be an icon shaped like a cog. Click the cog and from the drop down menu select ‘Privacy Settings’. On the next screen you will see a menu on the left-hand-side. Click on ‘Ads’ which will be the option fourth from the bottom.

There are two options on this page. It is advisable that you update both of them. Start with the top option called ‘Third Party Sites’ which refers to ads having the right to use your name and pictures (currently not in Facebook’s terms and conditions). Click on the ‘Edit’ button to the right of the explanation text and from the drop down box, change the option from ‘Only my friends’ to ‘No one’ and click ‘Save Changes’.

Repeat the above process with the ‘Ads & Friends’ settings by clicking on the ‘Edit’ button and from the drop down box, change the option from ‘Only my friends’ to ‘No one’ and click ‘Save Changes’.

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Written by Drew

Starting out as a week of work experience in 2005 while studying his Bachelor of Business at Swinburne University, Drew has never left his post and has been with the company ever since, working on the websites digital needs. Drew has a passion for all things technology which is only rivalled for his love of all things sport (watching, not playing).


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