How to stop Facebook snooping around

Find out how to stop Facebook snooping around too much.

Magnifying glass held over Facebook phone app

Facebook has a clever tool called Audience Network that shows you ads based on your web activity and interests. Basically, this means Facebook is stalking your activity, getting to know your interests and then targeting you with related content to keep you online for longer. Unnerving, right?

To see what Facebook already knows about your interests, visit your Facebook Ad Preferences page. Here, you’ll find a list of categories, ranging from Business and Industry to Food and Drink. Click on any category to view a drop-down list of sub-categories containing subjects that you’ve ‘liked’ or ads that you’ve clicked. If you want to know why Facebook included an interest, you can click on the subject and read a brief explanation.

For example, I once liked a page about the character Tin Tin. So Facebook adjusted my preferences to show me related ads and pages. According to Facebook, I must be interested in seeing content about Asterix, India, comic books and Tom and Jerry – even if I’m not.

So, if you want to stop Facebook showing you particular content, click on the ‘x’ to remove it from your preferences list. The only way to stop Facebook targeting you with content in the future is to stop clicking on ads and pages – or basically, stop using Facebook altogether.

But Facebook’s Audience Network doesn’t stop on its own website. In September, Business Insider reported that Facebook now keeps track of your interests all over the internet.

A statement released by Facebook said: “Today we’re expanding Audience Network so publishers and developers can show better ads to someone – including those who don’t use or aren’t connected to Facebook.”

If you find this too intrusive you can disable it. Here’s how:

  • go to your Facebook Settings and select Adverts
  • change ‘Ads based on my use of websites and apps’ to Off
  • change ‘Ads on apps and websites off of the Facebook companies’ to No
  • change ‘Adverts with my social actions’ to No one.

The final category ‘Adverts based on my preferences’ will take you back to your Facebook Ad Preferences page (already covered at the start of this article).



    To make a comment, please register or login
    16th Nov 2016
    Thanks. Great tips!
    I was surprised to see so many ads based on my preferences. I've removed them all.
    16th Nov 2016
    Me Too.
    Ted Wards
    16th Nov 2016
    Actually what facebook does is give you the choice to have targeted ads based on your preferences. If you remove them you will just get random ads that are even more annoying. You cannot stop the advertisements, that's what pays for us to use facebook for free. Get with the program Google can tell you about every aspect of your life. Watch the documentary entitled "Secrets Google do not want you to know about". You can still watch it on Iview on ABC. They showed a case of this gentleman who uses the GPS feature on google and he was stunned when the reported showed him on google maps his every movement for months.
    There is nothing about our lives that is not tracked by someone, some app, and so on. Privacy exists no more yet we have allowed this to happen over the last 40 years without one protest!
    Ted Wards
    16th Nov 2016
    And by the way Google and Facebook and many other organisations do on sell your data to third parties. Its how they make the obscene profits they do.
    16th Nov 2016
    Thanks for that. Can you please tell me how to delete photos on my Facebook page?
    16th Nov 2016
    Never been on Facebook in my life, or any other "social media" network. I still find I am targeted with adds which relate to what I have watched on U Tube or similar things to what I have bought on line.

    Obviously somebody is watching me, & using cookies to follow me around. I delete all cookies every night, but they still find me, so a data base somewhere is maintained, for or by advertisers.

    Actually I don't mind, as I find some of these things I'm targeted with are new to me, & interesting. However, only a fool thinks their net usage is anything like private.
    16th Nov 2016
    You need to install AD BLOCKER programs (They are many available) on your browsers.
    Do a search for AD BLOCKERS or if you use Crome go to settings and then Extensions and add them

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