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Internet Privacy: Facebook, Google, Windows 10, Bing


Administrator, Security Analyst
Staff member
Feb 22, 2012
Upstate, NY
There has been a lot of discussion in the news lately about the all the data Facebook has on members. As a result, a new system will be rolled out which will allow people to change their privacy and security settings from one place. See Facebook Introduces Central Page for Privacy and Security Settings - The New York Times. In the meantime, let's take a look at how to find out what is being stored and how to change the settings.

Facebook and Google:

Facebook isn't the only Internet privacy concern. People are (or should be) concerned about Google, Bing and Microsoft as well. Starting with Facebook and Google, from Twitter:

Want to freak yourself out? I'm gonna show just how much of your information the likes of Facebook and Google store about you without you even realising it
was followed up with an article in The Guardian, Are you ready? This is all the data Facebook and Google have on you | Dylan Curran | Opinion | The Guardian. If you use Facebook, Google (including an Android phone) and are concerned about the information stored about you, follow the links in that article.

Although settings for changing what Google stores is included, what is neglected in the above article is how to reduce the amount of data stored by Facebook. The first step is an ad-blocker extension. However, that isn't all. I see friends, people I have personally known for many years whose posts are "Public", meaning anyone can see them. The suggestions in this older article are still relevant, although I personally wouldn't use "Everyone" in the "Privacy Settings and Tools section: How to Lock Down Your Facebook Account For Maximum Privacy and Security |.

Another tool is F.B. Purity which helps to clean up and customize Facebook:

F.B. (Fluff Busting) Purity is a Facebook customizing browser extension. It alters your view of Facebook to show only relevant information to you. It lets you remove the annoying and irrelevant stories from your newsfeed such as game and application spam, ads and sponsored stories. It can also hide the boxes you don't want to see on each side of the newsfeed.
F.B. Purity is compatible with Firefox, Google Chrome, Edge, Safari, Opera and Maxthon, running on Windows, Mac, Linux etc. For Microsoft Edge, there is an extension in the Microsoft Store. To use with Pale Moon, it is necessary to install the Greasemonkey script version but it works great.

Widows 10 and Bing:

Privacy settings for Windows 10 are being enhanced with version 1803, due to be released in April, likely on or shortly after April 10, 2018. The changes were introduced in Windows Insider Preview Build 17115 and are described here: Windows Insiders get first look at new privacy screen settings layout coming to Windows 10 - Windows Experience BlogWindows Experience Blog.

Bing: Click on the "hamburger icon" in the upper right corner. Select Settings > Search History. From there you can show/clear search history and also disable it.
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x BlueRobot

Moderator, BSOD Kernel Dump Expert, Contributor
May 7, 2013
Minkowski Space
I personally use DuckDuckGo for any web searches, and tend to switch between Pale Moon and Brave for any web browsing. I've heard that ProtonMail is a good alternative to GMail and Outlook if you're concerned with privacy.