Facebook Cafe in Singapore: A pop-up at Five Oars Coffee Roasters to talk about security online and privacy settings

Facebook Cafe in Singapore: A pop-up at Five Oars Coffee Roasters to talk about security online and privacy settings

Security matters

Text: Janice Sim

Get this: Facebook spent 22 million US Dollars on CEO Mark Zuckerberg's security last year. So how about ours? It's a question that's been bubbling up as of late, especially with security breaches and odd coincidental ads that have been surfacing on our feed. Well, advertisements aren't something new. Just that they have increasingly been catered to our needs and conversations that have been had offline. That alone has raised a few eyebrows with our smart devices secretly tapping in without our consent.

Facebook Cafe

But this is Facebook we're talking about. A by-default app that we access everyday — regardless of our suspicions. But here to address the elephant in the room, is the Facebook Cafe that had a successful weekend last week at Five Oars Coffee Roasters. It was a pop-up that ticked all the right boxes: Free coffee and emoji pancakes. But behind the enticing facade, was really an activation to spread awareness on online security and knowledge on privacy. Especially when most of us are either oblivious or too lazy to check in. We copped a few valuable tips during our visit while chomping on pancakes and hearing it from the horse's mouth — Facebook's very own privacy and public policy manager, Arianne Jimenez who sets the record straight here while advising how we can keep our accounts secure.

Facebook Cafe

On the things you see on your timeline...

Facebook does not control what you see. The things that you see on your personalised newsfeed are influenced based off the people you follow, the friends that you make, the accounts that you follow, and the groups you're a part of.

On your personal data on Facebook...

Facebook never sells your data. Their business model is about selling advertising space so that advertisers and small media businesses can reach all of us with relevant ads.

Facebook does not eavesdrop on your conversations through the smartphone's microphone unless...

you give them permission to or are actively using a feature that requires audio. For instance: A video recording. But otherwise, they do not tap in on our conversations without consent just to feed us ads that will apply to our recent topics of interest. The ads that you see are influenced by your interests and the things on your profile information that are readily available on display.

Enable two-factor authentication

To really prevent hacking incidents, enable this feature on the apps you use everyday. This forms an additional layer of security, as it requests an extra step of entering a code that's been sent via Message on your phone.

There are privacy tools made available on Facebook. Use them.

The Audience Selector feature shows you who can see each and every post of yours and lets you control the audience. There's also Privacy Check-Up that reviews who can see your profile information and helps you manage who can see your profile. Ad Preferences allows you to filter on ads that you don't want to see. It can also give you an overview of your interests and information that influences the ads you see.

Be mindful of third-party apps

Granted, we have been way too frisky with granting third-party apps to log in via Facebook. Under Apps in Privacy, you may filter out all the apps you have been allowing access to your private informaton, your friend list, and employment history. The bad news is that up to this very moment, those developers might have already collected your information and they are under no obligation to erase of all that. So cut your losses while you still can.

For more information on Facebook security, click here.