Keeping your privacy safe on social media

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DENVER -- Experts warn many have a false sense of privacy when it comes to cellphones and social media accounts, but there’s growing concern since it came to light that political data firm Cambridge Analytica accessed and used Facebook profile information from millions of people.

Facebook is now restricting information developers can take from its 2 billion users, but others are still looking at what you post, and where you go.

Internet security expert Donald McLaughlin of CP Cyber security consulting tells the FOX31 Problem Solvers, “(many) always think Facebook is free but it’s not really free you’re paying with your privacy.”

McLaughlin added any information included in social media profiles such as age, location and preferences can be extremely valuable to those looking to cash in.

“The more data someone has on you the more targeted advertisements, big corporations, big companies will pay a lot of money to target ads to consumers," he said.

Crooks can target you as well, so limit what you share, especially birth dates and street addresses. McLaughlin also warns about granting full access of our contacts and address book to social media phone apps.

Major cellphone manufacturers are making it possible to limit the amount of information social media apps have access to.

Security consultants say turning off your location is the quickest way to protect your privacy. You should also monitor the settings on your child’s phone.

The same basic rules apply when using internet search engines.

Browsers can track your search history and store bookmarks, calendar information, and even fitness app information.

You can select what you want saved or tracked in the preferences and privacy settings section of your account, because there are some items you will want backed up.

Security experts say there are other search engines that claim to not track your activity, but they might not have the power or reach of engines like Google.

Sites such as give users a glimpse of what is “out there” online, you can also simply take a deep breath and Google yourself and see what others will see when putting your name in the search box.

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