Facebook privacy settings: How to control your ad preferences

PCWorld | Nov 16, 2016

Facebook targets ads based on your activity. You can check--and change--what it thinks your interests are in Ad Preferences.

You know the deal with Facebook: The more you use it, the more it can stalk you and target ads based on your activity. But you can control some of that--and get back a little privacy--if you check your ad preferences. Here’s how.

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You can get to your ad preferences quickly by typing facebook.com/ads/preferences, or you can take the long way by digging into your Privacy Settings.

Ad preferences page shows what Facebook thinks your interests are, represented by tiles for business, travel, sports and more.

Facebook’s perspective is not always accurate. Under Travel, places and events, it’s figured out a few places I go to a lot, but how the nation of Chile got in there I have no idea. Let’s click the ‘x’ at the top right to get rid of Chile.

Here’s the other thing about these tiles: Click one, and it’ll show you “example ads” by companies that want to target you because of this preference. At the bottom of this view, you can tell Facebook whether you’re still interested by clicking the smiley or frowny face. If you click the frowny face, the tile will disappear.

Now I won’t receive ads targeted using these criteria, and that’s what this is really about--getting some control over the ads.

If you have other tips for keeping Facebook out of your business, tell us at answer@pcworld.com.