Secure Your Facebook

Keep Your Photos Out of Facebook Ads

FacebookAccording to Facebook Terms of Service, although you maintain ownership of any photos and videos you upload to Facebook, the very act of uploading them to Facebook grants Facebook a non-exclusive, royalty-free license to use your photos and videos worldwide for any purpose … as long as you haven’t specifically informed them not to in your privacy settings. As of May 1, 2009, the TOS reads:

You own all of the content and information you post on Facebook, and you can control how we share your content through your privacy and application settings. In order for us to use certain types of content and provide you with Facebook, you agree to the following:

For content that is covered by intellectual property rights, like photos and videos (“IP content”), you specifically give us the following permission, subject to your privacy and application settings: you grant us a non-exclusive, transferable, sub-licensable, royalty-free, worldwide license to use any IP content that you post on or in connection with Facebook (“IP License”). This IP License ends when you delete your IP content or your account (except to the extent your content has been shared with others, and they have not deleted it).

Under these terms Facebook allows advertisers to use your photos in their advertisements on Facebook. In the privacy section of your Facebook account, Facebook allows to to set whether or not you wish advertisers to have this permission:

Facebook occasionally pairs advertisements with relevant social actions from a user’s friends to create Facebook Ads. Facebook Ads make advertisements more interesting and more tailored to you and your friends. These respect all privacy rules. You may opt out of appearing in your friends’ Facebook Ads below.

So if you don’t want your mugshot appearing in an ad for “hot singles in your area” on your spouse’s Facebook page, then take the following steps to specifically deny permission to use your photos in ads.

1. Under Settings, click on Privacy Settings.


2. Then click on News Feed and Wall.


3. Click on the Facebook Ads tab.


4. Set Appearance in Facebook Ads to “No one”.


5. Click on Save Changes and your done.

Remove Your Public Search Profile

Another security risk is the public search listings available on search engines like Google. If you have a Facebook account, do a Google search on your name. Chances are your Facebook public search listing is near the top on the first page of search results. Or pick almost any name you can think of and search it on Google. You will probably be able to find a public Facebook listing. The public search profile shows the person’s current profile picture, a link to send the person a message, eight of the person’s friends with their pictures and a sampling of the products, companies, television shows, etc. that he or she is a fan of. This is a LOT of information about you that you probably don’t want public available and easily searchable on the Internet. In Facebook, because you have to sign in with an account in order to use Facebook, as a user you are lulled into a feeling of security that only your friends and family will be able to see your profile picture or know what kinds of television shows you like to watch. On the contrary, Facebook makes it public to the planet by default.

The good news is that you can shut off your public profile. To do so follow watch this video.


Banish Facebook Ads

I was annoyed sometime last year by the content of some ads on Facebook, so I decided to see if I could get rid of them. It was astonishingly easy. Use the Stylish Firefox add-on to add site-specific CSS styles to hide the ads from view. To do hide Facebook ads on the Firefox browser follow these instructions.

1. Use the Firefox browser.

2. Install the “Stylish” add-on:
(requires browser restart)

3. Go to a Facebook page.

4. Look at the bottom-right corner of the browser and click on the icon of a pen on a document.

5. Mouseover “write style…” and select “For …” in the sub-menu.

6. Under “Description” you can name this style rule anything you want (e.g., remove facebook ads).

7. Down below in the style code box use this code:

@namespace url(;
@-moz-document domain(“”) {
#ssponsor, .home_main_item .social_ad { display: none !important; }

All you have to do is copy and paste in the code the is bold into the appropriate place in the box.

8. Click “Save” and you’re done! Ads are gone!

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