About Facebook’s new privacy hub + how to download a copy of your profile

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Facebook announced this week that it will debut a central hub for users to better control access to their security settings and privacy. The move comes amid heightening scrutiny of the social networking site over how it has handled people’s data.

“Instead of having settings spread across nearly 20 different screens, they’re now accessible from a single place,” Facebook said in a  news release Wednesday. “We’ve also cleaned up outdated settings so it’s clear what information can and can’t be shared with apps.”

Facebook introduces centralized privacy & security hub

Users can expect the changes, which will include a new Privacy Shortcuts menu, to appear in the coming weeks.  Facebook promises the experience will be “clearer, more visual, and easy-to-find,” according to the release, which was penned by Erin Egan, Facebook’s chief privacy officer and Ashlie Beringer, the network’s deputy general counsel.

“Some people want to delete things they’ve shared in the past, while others are just curious about the information Facebook has,” they said. “So we’re introducing Access Your Information ‘ a secure way for people to access and manage their information, such as posts, reactions, comments, and things you’ve searched for. You can go here to delete anything from your timeline or profile that you no longer want on Facebook.”

With the increased interest in Facebook and privacy, we’ve shown you how to see what third-party apps are using your data, also how to deactivate your account, but there’s one more thing you may be wondering about: Just what kind of information is the social media site keeping on you?

The way to see this is to download a copy of your Facebook archive.  Here are the steps to do it:

Here’s how to download a copy of your Facebook archive

  • Click account settings at the top right of any Facebook page and go to Settings.

  • In the center of the page, under “General Account Settings,” click the link that says, “Download a copy of your Facebook data.” This is what you should see:

  • See that green button? Click “Start My Archive.” It will prompt you to re-enter your password.

You may then see a dialog box that says, “It may take a little while for us to gather your photos, wall posts, messages and other information.” This time the button’s blue, but it still says “Start My Archive.” Click it.

  • Another dialog box will pop up, this time telling you, “We are gathering your information and will send an e-mail to [your contact email address].” (Note: I never received an email. Instead, I got a ready notification in Messenger.)

  • Once you receive notification, click the green button that says “Download Archive.”  You will be prompted to enter your password again.

  • A zip file will immediately download to your computer. You can browse the contents of each folder by clicking on them and opening the included files.

In my case, five files were included in my zip file. Some users may see more. By going through the files, you can see exactly what information Facebook has gathered on you! This is what it looks like.

RELATED: How your friends can help you recover your Facebook account

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