According to a 2017 survey by security company Experian, 28 percent of social media users don’t manage their privacy settings. Of the survey group, 44 percent said they always manage their security settings.

 Facebook is the biggest social media site by far with more than 2 billion active users. YouTube is second highest with 1.5 billion users.

 According to Fortune.com, Facebook collects data about which ads you click on, any personal information you’ve added to the site including groups you’re a part of, your current city and your employment.

 They also collect the names of your friends and your entire activity log — meaning everything you’ve ever done on the site, and every photo you’ve been tagged in.

 This doesn’t include third-party apps, like the FaceApp facial augmentation application (app) that was so popular just over a week ago. These have their own user agreements.

 This app was popular, filling users’ timeline with photos of their friends who opted to use it to see what they’d look like in 30 years, with an eerily convincing image. The trend quickly cooled when users realized that in the terms of use, they’d yielded a concerning amount of information to a company based in Russia.

 The agreement says, “You grant FaceApp a perpetual, irrevocable, nonexclusive, royalty-free, worldwide, fully paid, transferable sub-licensable license to use, reproduce, modify, adapt, publish, translate, create derivative works from, distribute, publicly perform and display your User Content and any name, username or likeness provided in connection with your User Content in all media formats and channels now known or later developed, without compensation to you.”

 Facebook’s new terms of service states, “When you share, post or upload content that is covered by intellectual property rights on or in connection

with our products, you grant us a non-exclusive, transferable, sub-licensable, royalty-free and worldwide license to host, use, distribute, modify, run, copy, publicly perform or display, translate and create derivative works of your content (consistent with your privacy and application settings).” 

 For example, if you upload a photo,

it will be available for Facebook to use. You still own your intellectual property, however.

 Managing your settings can change who sees your data and how it can be used.

How to manage settings

 In Facebook, the settings are part of the menu you access next to the question mark logo on the far right. Click the triangle and then on “settings.”

 There is a bevy of settings, but if you start with “Privacy,” you can decide how private and accessible your information is, and how easily you can be seen and contacted.

 You can also see who may see your timeline, friends and other information.

 YouTube’s privacy settings can be accessed via your personal Google account photo icon. Click the icon and scroll down to the settings (with the machine hear logo.) “Privacy” settings are on the left.

Big companies, big payouts

 Both Facebook and Equifax have been dealt fines and settlement penalties for misusing or losing private customer data.

 Just last week, the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) hit Facebook with a $5 billion fine after years of privacy violations. The company can keep earning money from ads, but must form an independent privacy committee, taking control on privacy matters away from CEO Mark Zuckerberg. According to Time.com, the agreement also requires Facebook to better police third-party apps and enact several other new protections for users.

 Also last week, credit monitoring agency Equifax announced it would be giving $125 to 147 million Americans who have been part of the massive 2017 hack. This episode revealed the data of 147 million Americans. According to businessinsider.com, this included names, addresses and Social Security numbers.

 Go to equifaxbreachsettlement.com to learn how to make a claim.

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