Use Facebook safely

Like a number of other applications popular with children and young people(Instagram and WhatsApp), the social network Facebook belongs to the Meta group. What they have in common is that they offer users the opportunity to network with others.

Anyone who wants to use Facebook must first register free of charge. This is from a minimum age of 13 years.  However, there is no age verification. In addition to some mandatory information, users can decide for themselves whether or not they want to provide this information when creating their profile. It is advisable to leave as little information as possible.

If children and young people reveal too much about themselves, there is a risk of unwanted contact. Take the time together with your children to check their Facebook profile for privacy and data protection settings in order to prevent dangers. saferinternet.at offers help here with the Step-by-step guide help.

Privacy and security

To check the privacy and data protection settings, Facebook offers the so-called "privacy check". Here you are guided through all possible options. For example, you can specify exactly who can see what you post or how you can be found on Facebook. If you carefully work through all the settings options, you can protect your own data from strangers. However, Facebook itself will continue to collect some usage data for its own use.

In the Security and Login section, you can check everything about the registration. After registering, it is advisable to set the two-step authentication here. This way you can protect your account from strangers in addition to a secure password. If someone logs into your account using a "foreign" device, this person will be asked for an additional password, which you have chosen before.

In addition to this setting, another important section in the security and login area is the overview of the logged-in devices. Here you can see the devices and the location on which you are currently logged in, or were logged in. This is an additional way to check if someone else has access to your account.

No matter how long you have been using Facebook, you should make sure to check your personal settings regularly. These can be found in the browser view in the top right dropdown under "Settings and Privacy". Here you can set up a variety of settings to your liking. In addition, Facebook offers answers to any questions about the network and its use in the help section . This area can also be viewed if you are not logged in or registered with the social network.

Deactivate Facebook or delete account

Once registered with Facebook, the social network makes it somewhat difficult to delete the account. Preferably, users are offered to deactivate the account. This leaves the option open to reactivate and use it at a later time. If you want to delete the account permanently, you can do so via the privacy settings under "Your Facebook information". However, it is best to make it clear to children and young people before they register that any data once shared with the Internet cannot be completely deleted. Facebook can continue to store the data that has already been shared even after the account has been deleted.

Block and report

Anyone who feels harassed by others on Facebook, for example by unwanted messages or posts, has a simple way to remedy this with the "Block user" function. Blocked users can no longer see their own Facebook profile and posts and are also no longer able to send direct messages. However, this also applies vice versa, i.e. one is also no longer able to see the Facebook page of the other person and send personal messages. If you block a person, he or she will not be informed about this step. At saferinternet.at there are step-by-step instructions on how to block users.

In addition to the option of blocking users, there is another way to stop problematic content from being displayed on Facebook: you can report the content anonymously and recommend that Facebook delete it. Almost all content on Facebook can be reported: complete profiles, individual posts or personal messages, groups, images, videos, etc.. The field for reporting a photo, video or similar can almost always be found on the post itself. If you have any difficulties, you can find adetailed explanation at saferinternet.at .

Advertisements and networking with other apps

Facebook, like Instagram and Whatsapp, is part of the meta-major concert. In short, all the data shared in these apps is stored in one place. Thus, Meta can create a detailed profile of the users. For example, if you reject location tracking in one network but have activated it in another, your location is still visible to all networks.
This networking is also used by the major corporation for personalized advertising . If you only show interest in a certain brand or article in one network, advertising is also played out in the other networks. The more precisely advertisers can target their potential customers, the more money an advertising message is worth to them. 

To decide for yourself which ads you want to see, you should go to the "Ads" section. Among other things, you have the option here of objecting to the forwarding of personal data. In the help area , all questions regarding the topic of advertisements are explained in detail.