Facebook has a beacon feature that allows it to monitor your web browsing activity, and, with your permission, it will post your visit to a specific site on your Facebook page. If you visit a site monitored by the beacon feature, a box will pop up that asks you to indicate whether or not you want your visit made public. You are given the options of choosing ‘allow’, ‘notify me’ or ‘never’. While you can choose not to make public which sites you visit, Facebook still has the data regardless of your privacy settings.
So, if you do not want Facebook to be able to collect data about you, or the websites you visit, you can do something about it. Their beacon feature is a part of their new advertising platform. While this tool can be useful for online advertisers, you do not have a choice regarding the beacon feature and its tracking and collection efforts. If you don’t want it, you have to disable it.
If you use Firefox, here are some instructions for disabling Facebook’s beacon feature so that your web surfing activities stay private and are not available to Facebook.
1. Download and Install the BlockSite plugin for Firefox, found at https://addons.mozilla.org/en-US/firefox/addon/3145.
This plug in is free and it’s a useful tool when you want to protect your privacy.
2. Restart Firefox and select ‘Add-ons’ from the Tools menu.
3. Click the ‘Options’ button on the Block Site extension.
4. Click the ‘Add’ button.
5. Enter http://*facebook.com/beacon/* into the input box.
6. Click ‘OK’.
7. Click ‘OK’ again and you’re finished.
These seven simple steps make Facebook about social networking again. You will be able to share photos, thoughts and comments as you have since your introduction to Facebook.