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Facebook Follows You Forever…

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Do you feel secure about your privacy when you use Facebook? A new revelation online led the world’s largest social networking site to change some of its software to give users a little more security. But those changes may not be enough to keep your Internet travels private.

The problem is with cookies, which can be used to track what web sites you visit. On Sunday, a blogger in Australia revealed that logging off of Facebook didn’t seem to fully break the connection. The social networking site at first denied they tracked users [ironic, because Facebook has a known tracking feature that  its CEO, Mark Zuckerberg {pictured above] has called “Facebook Across the Web”], but later admitted that at least six cookies remain in use after you log off.

Facebook has removed one of the trackers, but says the other five are needed for internal security and organizational purposes. The web site Gawker points out, though, that they could also be used to track computer use until you shut it off. And Gawker adds that, given Facebook’s record with privacy issues in the past, there are no firm guarantees that the cookies won’t be used at some point in the future.

What to do? Use a service like, which prevents tracking by any third-party site [it’s free, by the way, but doesn’t work with all web browsers. Check to see if it works with yours]. You can also clear out any Facebook cookies manually in your browser’s preferrences section, use incognito mode [explained, at least for Google Chrome users, here] or shut off your browser when leaving Facebook.

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