Mar 21, 2018, 3:17 PM ET

How to see and manage what apps can access your private data on Facebook

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You may be surprised to learn that you're likely playing a prodigious role in how much information you’re openly giving Facebook access to, and in turn, their third-party partners -- like apps.

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Of all the apps you’re using right now on your smart devices and even desktop computers, you’ve possibly given most of them access to your Facebook profile as well as personal data, including contact information. Restricting your Facebook information from apps, even ones you’ve used only once before is one of the first and most reliable of steps you can take in safeguarding your information across the internet.

How to manage app settings on Facebook:

First, on the top right corner of your profile, click on the downward pointing arrow and then click on “Settings.”

PHOTO: Heres a step by step guide for how to manage app access on Facebook.ABC News
Here's a step by step guide for how to manage app access on Facebook.

On the far left, click on “Apps.” After you click on the App Settings panel, you will see all the apps that over time you’ve used to log into Facebook with, effectively giving those apps permission to access your Facebook data.

PHOTO: A step by step guide for how to manage app access on Facebook.ABC News
A step by step guide for how to manage app access on Facebook.

Facebook notes that Apps have access to your Friends lists and any information you choose to make public. When you click on any app you will be prompted with what specific information you are allowing that app to access. You can also choose to remove an app completely from having permission to you and your Facebook profile, even if your profile is private from public searches.

PHOTO: Heres how to manage app access on Facebook.ABC News
Here's how to manage app access on Facebook.

PHOTO: Heres how to remove app access on Facebook.ABC News
Here's how to remove app access on Facebook.

Even if you are not the most frequent Facebook user, it’s easy to give an app permission to your profile and then completely forget about it. It’s important to know that curating what apps have access to you is not a one-time task – you should make sure to check back on a regular basis to make sure your Facebook data and personal information are being shared appropriately and on your own terms.

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  • DMurf

    I am shocked at the number of Applications and Links to ads I found in my profile settings, Thank You for alerting us to this intrusion of privacy, I have 3 PCs and found each one had different links and had to be scrubbed separately. I also learned that OTHER as a topic of interest included Peanuts, Hand Guns, Assault Weapons and Magazines. I don't even own a gun. Gross inaccuracies were everywhere. I felt the only way to be safe was to delete EVERYTHING and block EVERYTHING. I shared my finding with family members and no hear bake they are deleting 30-40 apps as well.
    I also downloaded my Data File and this review alerted me to errors and links to topics that were incorrect. Now I can see how all this benign data in the hands of British IT Folks has become weaponized to corrupt the American Election in 2017. Add Military grade "Hacks" from Russia and big money from Billionaires in America, Fake news and tailored messaging to millions in selected counties worked to destroy our democracy if only for a few weeks. But now the aftermath is continuing the destruction. We have been rocked to sleep and robbed in the night. The Wealthy few are buying services, data and expertise with no oversight, no control and no laws to stop them.

  • JC

    Fake news Alert from ABC! Cambridge Analytica does NOT have "close ties" to Pres. Trump. Hundreds of companies have used CA consulting services. Trump is just one of many. So what?

  • RobertJohns

    Step 1: Delete your FB account.
    Step 2: Get a real life.

  • Dan T

    People are truly idiots if they don't think anything and everything they do on the internet can be used.

    Everybody is up in arms about this Facebook "Data mining" because, Trump, but I'm in content advertising and this is our daily job. We buy user data from companies (like Facebook) and then we create content to specifically target those whose data we just collected.

  • ACDCguy

    Facebook is nothing but trouble....never used it and don't let the kids use it.....same goes for most social media.....we want them to get good jobs when the time comes......

  • Jackie

    How manage your private data on Facebook...

    1. Delete your data, delete your account.
    2. Tell your friends and family to do the same.

    3. Continue step 2 until FB files for bankruptcy.

  • AG99

    There's an easy way to control how much information facebook gathers about you: Don't tell them anything.

  • tet1953

    I never had a FB account, and I know that many, many of my fellow IT workers never did either. I'm not sure how exactly of course, but I have always known that FB would ultimately be used for and cause bad things to happen.

  • What?

    The best way to manage it is to delete your account. Don't be puppets to data analyst and social media apps. Demand that our government change our privacy laws to better protect or personal data.

  • Bill Katakis

    Fb stock is still at $168 per share, that's how much money they make selling you out. I bet if we sat in on one of their meetings where they spell out what they're harvesting and how they use it, who can buy it, etc., we'd be shocked. Does everyone deserve to see your psychograph and other collected and computed data that predicts how you will react to anything, they can really paint a picture that you don't want the public to see. Corporations can easily buy your data and at a bargain price. If they made $100 million from selling 50 million peoples data to Cambridge Analytica, that means they paid $2 per person. So a team in Russia could create fake news stories to shock you into voting into office, a fascist, criminal, pathological liar, traitor, and dog. Nice that he congratulated Putin for his win in the fixed Russian election. Stuff those ballot boxes Vlad. If that isn't enough, consider that they are likely using the same data to figure out how much you're willing to spend on items you buy online, then increasing the price when/if they think you'll pay it. Imagine if all the prices you see are jacked up 5-20% , just because they think you'll pay it.

  • Bill Katakis

    Zuckie and the Fb team are knowingly harming others, betraying the people of the U.S. to foreign governments and fascists, ruining kids careers before they even enter the workforce, and Fb is OK with doing that. Anyone who thinks a sociopath like Zuckie is going to ever deserve your trust, should look at the nice bridge I have for sale in Brooklyn. Every word you say on facejob is likely to be used against you in some fashion. Fb knows how you will react to fake news really well. Dear Google isn't any better, and your ISP and phone companies are just as bad, they're acting as government employees and serve the employer at your expense. It's really bad folks, and they've already implemented A.I. software to crunch that data, and soon they'll use quantum computers which will crunch the data with incredible depth and breadth. How many futures has Zuckie destroyed? I'm sure he'll say your children destroyed their own futures when they posted, and that it's the parents fault. Your kid will always find a burner phone for $20 somewhere, and the data collection and data sellers will be there to betray their futures, and their democracy, just like you and I are being betrayed when we post here. ABC, say it like it is, don't paint this with rainbows.

  • SomeTruthOutThere
    You may be surprised to learn that you're likely playing a prodigious
    role in how much information you’re openly giving Facebook access to,
    and in turn, their third-party partners -- like apps.

    Only the very naive would be surprised. I still find it incredible that so many people willingly share so many details about their personal lives with the entire world. Then these same people complain about data breeches and stolen identities.

  • Glen Schafer

    I have already deleted my account. I set up a fake one, but probably going to delete that one also. No more data from me!

  • j penske

    I don't use FB and never will.