Facebook throughout the years has figured out a way which allows it to grow and also become profitable, despite the fact that users consider its level of respect for user private data rather questionable and many have complained about it.

Average users of this social network follow many brands; their feed is filled in with commercial posts, making them a desirable target for the advertisers. One known market rule is that if something is being provided to you for free, then you are the product. So, for an organization like Facebook to be able to sell its product (you), it will need to acquire as much information as possible and in many times more than what you share on your own will.

But what can you do in order to block targeted ads from being sent to you? Here are some options below:

1) Opt out of targeted ads

Facebook doesn’t give you the option of disabling all ads, yet it allows you to opt out of targeted ads by modifying the relative option in its settings. You may also visit the Digital Advertising Alliance’s consumer choice page of your region (there is different webpage for USA, Canada and Europe) where you can find basic advice and finally configure your online options against companies which cooperate with various webpages in collecting and using information so as to deliver behavioral advertising. These options need to be reviewed on any mobile browser as well.

2) Let Facebook know you don’t want to see ads

Although –as previously stated- there in no generic option to fully disable ads from appearing on Facebook, there is another option you can follow which ultimately brings quite a similar result. I’ve personally tried this and I can say that I am pleased. When you see an ad on Facebook, you can click on the “X” on top right of the ad and instantly it will give you a prompt with the following options:

  1. I don’t want to see this
  2. I already own this
  3. Hide all from ……………
  4. Why am I seeing this?
  5. This ad is useful

Picking option (c) should hide this and any future ads from the same advertiser.

3) Disable tracking of mobile app data

Steps followed for Android OS:

Settings / Accounts / Google / Ads, click “Opt out of interest-based ads”.

Steps followed for iOS:

Settings / Privacy / Advertising, enable the option “Limit Ad Tracking”.

One thing you should keep in mind, though, is that enabling these options doesn’t fully prevent Facebook from tracking your activity, as according to what the company says , they can still get info from the applications of their business partners so as to monitor for example the effectiveness of an ad being showed in a game.

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