Are you needing more privacy on Facebook?
With the invention of Facebook in 2004, came a revolutionary way of staying in constant contact with friends whilst announcing daily plans and generally keeping in touch. This has now expanded into advertising for new and established businesses alike, publishing ‘posts’ and articles in order to gain much sought after ‘likes’ and ‘shares’ to allow the prospect of higher viewing on the Internet which inevitably will generate more sales. Many changes to Facebook have been made over the years in format, rules and regulations. Some of the rules are indeed very necessary for protection of the younger users, in a form of censorship to prevent unwanted material from being seen, but on reading many posts and comments on Facebook, it appears that the novelty is now wearing thin. Recently there has been much criticism about Facebook on subjects such as treatment of users, online privacy, child safety, hate speech and the inability to terminate accounts without first manually deleting the content. Many users are now concerned with the privacy settings for Facebook applications, which allow companies to monitor what the user reads and writes as well as publicise personal data and this has led to various plug-ins that are now available to prevent and protect privacy. Below is a list of ten of the best privacy plug-ins available on the market to date. Anyone concerned with the issue of privacy will find the list very useful.
Adblock Plus allows you to surf the Internet without any annoying ads as it blocks banners, prevents pop-up ads and video ads even on Facebook and YouTube. It also protects your online privacy and is free to use as well as being available for Firefox, Opera, Internet Explorer and Google Chrome. Other features include disabled tracking, disabled malware domains and disabled social media buttons for sharing such as Facebook and Twitter. The plug-in comes with several tools to help and a blog and a forum are available on the site.
This is a free add-on for Firefox and Chrome and allows you to view all the privacy implications of your Facebook and amend the settings. It installs a Privacyfix button on your browser’s bookmarks bar and presents a screen of privacy-related information. It also shows which sites and ad companies are tracking you, as well as give a rating of how concerned you should be and informs you of privacy policies of sites you visit, including whether private information is generally shared with other sites. The tracking control permits you to block over 1200 from tracking you with cookies and a full demonstration can be found on the site.
This is an independent and open tool for scanning your Facebook privacy settings. The grey button can be dragged to your browser bookmarks bar and then clicked once Facebook is open. The scanner inspects your privacy settings and then warns you about settings that might be available for the public to view. The scanner is free to use and can be shared with friends to help protect their privacy too and any form of contact with the site is welcome as well as signing up to receive the newsletter to be kept informed of privacy updates.
This site offers a plug-in that lets you disable Facebook Messenger’s read script feature, preventing others from seeing whether you have viewed a message or not. With Facebook Messenger’s read receipt feature, anytime you chat with someone on Facebook you can see if they’ve read your message and vice-versa. There are many occasions where you won’t want someone to know if you’ve read their message or not. Facebook Undetected lets you disable this feature so that you go undetected.
This extension disables Facebooks mark as read feature and automatically blocks ‘seen’ and ‘is typing’ status confirmations in Facebook chats and messages. Contacts will not be able to see when you have read their messages which will leave you free to answer whenever you choose and add privacy to your Facebook chat. You can read reviews from users who have used the plug-in on the site and there are related links to other devices and applications.
With SocialReviver you can customise the social network Facebook in various ways since it has a sidebar disabler and new profile disabler. You can also return to the page layouts and classic 2011 profiles as well as normal chat. It also allows you to limit your availability in friend lists within chat and group-chat contacts as well as enable or disable extension features via a settings panel. Recent additions now include full support to Opera and Rockmelt as well as Firefox.
The shared activity plug-in on Facebook provides an easy way for users to curate and control the privacy of their activities that are shared. It lets users configure the privacy settings of their activities on an individual level while removing unwanted activities that are shared back to Facebook. You can also set specific Facebook app privacy settings for your own site as the plug-in displays all comments and sharing activities. A link and code for downloading can be found on the site along with explanations for use.
Social Privacy from Palo Alto Networks is a set of open-source plug-ins for WordPress that restrict access of posts or categories to specified registered users. Individual posts can be restricted and only authorised users can see the full post or a summary whilst unauthorised users are completely blocked from viewing. The plug-ins also feature automatic user recognition for posts and emails as well as sending warning messages and links can be found on the site for downloading.
Encrypt Facebook is an extension for Google Chrome that prevents users from viewing discussions and status updates on Facebook groups by storing them in an encrypted format on the database and then converting the encrypted format back into normal text whenever that particular group’s URL is accessed in Chrome. Full explanations regarding installing and usage can be found on the site along with a link for downloading.
Social Privacy is a set of open-source plug-ins for WordPress that restrict selected readers to access of posts or categories. Restriction can be given to all users or specified users and protected information can only be seen by those that have been authorised. Features include automatic user recognition and authentication for both posts and emails and warning messages can also be received if desired.