How to see what Facebook knows about you
Your Facebook archive includes a lot of information: your posts, your photos, your friends, your connected apps, your messages, and more. It’s a good idea to check your Facebook archive once in a while. In addition to being informed about what you’re sharing, it can also alert you to potential hacks or compromises of your account.
To request your Facebook archive, log in to your Facebook account click on the downward triangle in the upper right corner. A dropdown menu will appear; select Settings.
In the middle of the page you should see the list of general account settings. Beneath that list, click on the “Download a copy” link. On the page that loads, click the “Start My Archive” button.
You’ll receive an email confirming that you’ve requested a copy of your Facebook archive. Some time after that (could be a few minutes or much longer, depending on how large your archive is and various other factors) you’ll receive another email from Facebook, saying that your archive is ready for download. Click on the link contained in the email.
A Facebook tab will open in your web browser. (If you’re not already logged in, do it now, then click the link again.) You’ll see a green button that says “Download Archive.” Click this button to save the archive (as a zip file) to your computer.
You now have a copy of your Facebook data. You can unzip the folder and double click the
index.htm file, or select each of the various data pages individually.
The index file shows your profile information, groups, and interests. Select a link on the left side to bring up other information that Facebook stores about you — ads you’ve clicked on, photos you’ve posted, etc.
Of particular interest from a privacy standpoint is the “Advertisers with your contact info” section on the ads page. From a security standpoint, you might want to check the “Active Sessions” and “Account Activity” headings on the security page. If you suspect a breach of your account, take a look at the “Logins and Logouts” and “IP Addresses” sections for relevant details.
Scrolling through this data dump once in a while can be a good thing. It shows you what Facebook knows about you, but it also serves as a reminder that what goes on the internet stays on the internet.
The link to your archive will stay active for a few days. After that, to see your data again, just put in a new request.