Targeted Ads: What are they and how to opt out

LANSING, MI – If you’ve searched for something online, you’ve probably noticed you will quickly start seeing ads for whatever you searched for.

Every time you go to a new website and search for something, the ad network the website works with will put a little bit of code, called a cookie, onto your computer. When you visit a site that recognizes the cookie, they will send you more ads about whatever you were searching for.

The same thing goes for Facebook. Every like you give a news story, every status update you post, and every photo caption you write is tracked and sold to advertisers.

To opt out of Facebook showing you targeted ads from other sites, open your Facebook page and click the upside-down triangle in the upper right hand corner. Select “Settings” and then click “Ads.”

Turning these settings off will help with targeted ads on Facebook but it doesn’t stop sharing with the rest of the 120 companies in the ad network that Facebook works with.

To check what companies are tracking you go to www.aboutads.info/choices/. Here you can see what companies are tracking you and you have the option to opt-out.

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