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Facebook Apps Privacy Settings- Are you safe?

Posted on 04. May, 2012 by in Facebook, Social Media

I want to highlight some of the security issues that some of these new apps that Facebook have in it on their timeline can cause you and it’s a little bit of a concern if you don’t know what you are doing.  So, I am going to show you a couple of examples here so that you can be able to be aware of some of these things that you read.

I have recorded a quick video about the dangers of Facebook Apps Privacy Settings- Are you safe?

 Facebook Apps Privacy Settings- Are you safe?

Now, one of the new things that Facebook brought in recently was it gave permission for apps to post and utilize your information according to whatever they wanted to do.  So, for instance, I am going to show you this little video just here.  You can see Fred Cannon watched this particular video – it’s python versus alligator.  Now, you might that’s pretty cool, let’s go and have a look.

 

Now, the great thing about these apps is that they are trying to get some viral action going on these videos.  So, if I were to watch this video, I go and click on the link of the video itself and what pops up is where you got to be careful.

fred cannon facebook app

So, this is an app and it’s called Socialcam and there is a number of them – I am going to show you a couple of others in a minute – but this Socialcam lets you watch other friends’ videos.  Now, the thing that you want to watch is by default most people have seen these pop-ups before and most of the time it’s a bit of information down at the bottom here and you don’t really read it and you click on ‘Okay, allow it’ and you go and do whatever the app wants you to do.

letting apps access your info

So, if I was to click on this video right now, what would happen is I can go watch the video but here’s the thing – people would know from my timeline and my friends that I was watching this video and this can cause some problems because if I was watching a video that was maybe unsavory, maybe it had some political slant that I didn’t want to send that message out to people that were following me, maybe it had some sort of racist connotations to it, whatever the reason, you don’t really know what you are watching until you watch the video, right?

 

So, as you are watching the video, you might be thinking “Well, I shouldn’t have really watched it; it’s not my type of video” but unfortunately, it will be too late because your timeline will already know that you have watched that video and this is what this viral applications do – they go out and they tell people what you are watching.  It’s not just videos that’s happening, it’s also audios and articles.  Places like The New York Times or Wall Street Journal have these apps where if you read it, it will tell people what you are reading and it will post it to your timeline.

 

So, you could be reading some innocent article, that’s fine and people will know what you are reading but if you are reading an article or you go to a site that you may not really want people to know about, whether it’s got a political connotation or whatever, you may be opening yourself up to all sorts of accusations from people because you are just going on and doing what you do.

 

So, here is how you get over this.  Make sure that when you open these apps, when it comes up in a pop-up like this, have a look at what it says about this app – “We make mobile videos”.  Fine, good.  Who can see these posts this apps makes for you on your Facebook timeline and it’s set to public by default.

Facebook Security shots

So, click on this little button and what I do to make sure that I want to make that it’s just me who is doing it and I go down and click on ‘Only Me’.  You can choose whatever you want to pick and whatever you want to select.  You can actually pick all of your groups too.  So, if it’s just a group of people that you happen to share this with, then you may want to create a group and they will pop up in this list down at the bottom here but I pick ‘Only Me’ so that it’s just me who knows I have been watching this video until I have actually watched it and seen what it’s about because, as I said, you don’t know what you are watching until you have watched it.

 

It also says that this app will receive your basic info.  So, it includes your name, your profile picture, your gender, your network, your user ID, list of friends and any other information you made public.  So, it’s a pretty scary thing and a lot of these apps are doing this and this is a small sample; some apps take even more information.  It also goes to my e-mail address and it says here “This app may post on your behalf including videos you watched, videos you shared and more.

 

So, there you go, it’s a pretty scary thing.  Now, I am not going to watch this video but I am also going to share a couple of other things like down below if I scroll down my timeline I will see that there is a couple of other friends; this one here Rod Clark has watched a video on Viddy, another one of those particular things and this video is just a silly video of some guy doing some gym exercise but he doesn’t really need to tell the world that he is watching it.  Now, it’s an innocent video but once again it could be something detrimental.

security facebook- watch video

Some of these videos are not in good taste. There is one thats  a 10-second video picking on some guy running in an athletics event.  Now, it’s not a video that I want to be associated with but I watched it to see what was it all about but unfortunately, Steve – I don’t know Steve that well but Steve has let everyone in the world know that he has watched this video because of those settings.

 

So, it’s just a warning that make sure you check the your Facebook Apps Privacy Settings- Are you safe?   Who you are allowing to see what you are doing online.  It’s a very, very timely warning.

 

This is Andrew McCauley, the Social Media Bloke, hoping that that helped you a little bit with some of your privacy settings.

I would love to hear if you have had any issues with Apps revealing or displaying your information.  Please comment.

 


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4 Responses to “Facebook Apps Privacy Settings- Are you safe?”

  1. Dawn Gould

    20. Aug, 2012

    Thank you so much Andrew. That helped me immensely. Too bad FB doesn't use you to help people with and to understand their settings.

  2. Cheryl Smith Banks

    13. Oct, 2012

    Don't be uninformed about what you are "giving away" with some of the apps you are adding. Reading Facebook Apps Privacy Settings- Are you safe? http://bit.ly/QxzkAN

  3. Cheryl Smith Banks

    13. Oct, 2012

    Don't be uninformed about what you are "giving away" with some of the apps you are adding. Reading Facebook Apps Privacy Settings- Are you safe? http://bit.ly/QxzkAN

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