You’ve probably already heard it on the news, but Facebook is in hot water concerning their privacy policy. Back in 2014, Facebook discovered the “data mining through a personality quiz” app called “thisisyourdigitallife.” As a result, they took measures to limit the amount of Facebook data third-party apps could access. Unbeknownst to Facebook, app creator, Dr. Aleksandr Kogan, shared the mined data with Cambridge Analytica up until 2015. Facebook banned the app and demanded Kogan and Cambridge Analytica delete the data. But, it turns out they might not have deleted the data after all. And now here we are: over one billion people left wondering why this invasion of privacy wasn’t reported to us four years ago.

If you’re not upset, you probably should be — at least a little bit. Facebook has known about this issue for years, and instead of updating this critical defect, they decided to tell Kogan and Cambridge Analytica to “Stop it!” and thought that would be sufficient. Obviously, it wasn’t.

So, what data did Cambridge Analytica and Kogan have access to? It’s hard to say exactly what data CA has on over 50 million Facebook users, but we can wager an educated guess:

  • about me
  • activities
  • birthday
  • check-ins
  • education history
  • events
  • groups
  • hometown
  • interests
  • likes
  • location
  • photo and video tags
  • photos
  • relationship details
  • religion
  • politics
  • work history.

And the collection doesn’t stop at your information. Installing Kogan’s app granted it access to your data and all of your Facebook friends’ data as well. It’s a little creepy, and a major invasion of privacy that should have never happened.

But it happened, and now Facebook users are prepared to take control of their privacy online. Thanks to the new privacy tools Facebook is rolling out, users will be better equipped to advocate for themselves. So, how can you protect yourself and your data?

  • Read the Privacy Policy on every website you have an account with.
  • Educate yourself on what data you’ve provided and what the website has access to.
  • Do they use third-party applications? Don’t forget to pay attention to what those can access too.

If you’re curious what data you’ve given Facebook, take a look at your privacy settings. If you’re using the app, log in and select the Options menu right next to the Notifications button at the bottom of the screen. Scroll all the way down — yes, all the way to the very bottom — and you’ll see a button for Privacy Shortcuts. This is where you can change or update the information you share with Facebook and you can read up on their Data and Privacy Policies. There’s even an option to start a “Privacy Checkup” that ensures you’re sharing information with the right people.

Not every social media site is as transparent as Facebook is trying to be. It’s up to you to protect yourself from another data breach, and it might not be as harmless next time. Your personal online data is just as important as your financial data, treat it right and stay aware of the threats.