• There's a Facebook setting that acts as a "kill switch" to keep apps - and bad actors - from accessing your private information.
  • It's called "Platform." And you can turn it off.
  • With Platform "off" you can make your Facebook as private as possible without deleting your account altogether.
  • Facebook doesn't exactly advertise this function.
  • Here are the instructions for the Facebook kill switch.
  • For more visit Business Insider South Africa.

Facebook co-founder Chris Hughes wrote a column for the New York Times arguing that it's time to break up the company because its apps have too much power over our lives. Referring to CEO Mark Zuckerberg, he said, "Mark alone can decide how to configure Facebook's algorithms to determine what people see in their News Feeds, what privacy settings they can use and even which messages get delivered."

If that sentence gives you the chills, then you may want to investigate Facebook's "kill switch".

It's the Facebook setting that shuts down apps and other websites from sharing or accessing your information. It's a useful trick that many people don't know about, especially if you want as much privacy as possible while maintaining your account. (We all know it is difficult to live without Facebook entirely - so this is the next best thing.)

Facebook doesn't exactly advertise its existence.

The kill switch is officially called "Platform." It's the way third-party games (like Candy Crush) or websites ("Would you like to sign in using Facebook?") are integrated with your profile.

"Platform" is the way that apps - and bad actors - are able to grab the personal data you put on Facebook. If you turn Platform off, you will keep the maximum amount of your personal data from being harvested en masse by companies like Cambridge Analytica. With Platform "off" you can use Facebook knowing that the only data you are sharing is the stuff you have personally shared on your timeline or profile. It's the most private you can make your Facebook without deleting the account altogether.

This is how you turn Platform off:

First, go to the right-hand corner and click "Settings":

Now go to settings.

Then, select "Apps and Websites" from the left-hand side.

In the next screen scroll down and you'll see "Apps, Websites and Games." Click "Edit."

This button controls the "Platform." Remember, turning this off means you won't be able to log into websites or apps using Facebook, and friends won't be able to share information with you through apps. Read the explainer before making your decision.

And ... you're done!

Note: The original version of this story was written by Caroline Moss.

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