Pulling the Plug on Facebook?

File (AP Photo/Marcio Jose Sanchez, File)

This is a special breaking news edition of my podcast. The topic: Facebook. This week the company’s CEO Mark Zuckerberg apologized for allowing the personal information of 50 million Facebook users to get into the hands of political consultancy, Cambridge Analytica. To be sure, this isn’t a breach like we’ve become accustomed to hearing about from so many American companies. When companies like Equifax were breached every single FINANCIAL detail about your life was stolen. The personal data Facebook holds about you generally is more benign — details of your active sessions, your friend network and check ins – things like that. Still, the #deletefacebook movement is gaining momentum, and consumers generally are deciding they want to be more careful about what they do and do not share publicly. Frankly, I can’t blame you.

So join me and my guest Pete Pachal, long-time tech expert and editor at Mashable, for a conversation about what you need to know about Facebook.

Here are three takeaways from Pete and my own research into Facebook.

No. 1: If you really are ready to pull the plug, understand that it’s not so easy to erase your account at the social media giant. Facebook itself says it will take 90 days for them to delete your account, and even then some material will remain behind. If this is what you want to do, go to the delete account page here https://www.facebook.com/help/delete_account and follow the directions. Also, consider downloading your personal archive before you pull the plug.

No. 2: Know the difference between deleting and deactivating your account. Delete means just that, but deactivating your account will simply put it on hiatus. You can come back in and reactivate your account anytime.

No. 3: One action that makes sense for all Facebook users is reviewing the apps you’ve given access to on Facebook. You can do this in settings where you’ll find information on what access is available to the app and what information they are getting about you. Keep in mind, you’ll have to reach out to the app developers themselves to get rid of data they’ve collected in the past. If you’ve been on Facebook for awhile, you may be surprised to learn just how many apps you’ve enabled.