Wednesday, March 23, 2011

You give apps a lot of power over your information and your friends and you probably don't even realize it

When you install an app to your Facebook account do you read over what the permissions that app asks for?

If you're like most users you instinctively click allow without reading what the app wants.
The above is an example permissions page. Many apps now days request permission to post to your wall, some request permission to view posts on your wall, some request  permission to access your profile information at any time of their choosing. Some request access to your friends information.

What you don't realize is not only did you just give a company or person all of your personal information photos videos, access to your profiles wall(which your friends and apps have posted to) but you gave them access to your friends profiles. You gave them access to post messages on your behalf.

You gave all of that away for free.
Just for an app where you get to have your own little virtual cafe where every type of food you make shockingly takes more than a few hours to make causing you to come back to facebook every day just to make sure you cook this virtual food to your virtual customers for your virtual currency which you can spend to make more virtual food for your virtual customers.
So does that mean you can't install tons of fun cool apps and games? not at all. Here's what you need to do. Think about what is necessary for the game to run.
Generally Games ask for permission to view who your friends are and your basic personal information(gender, name, etc.). Facebook throws all of that under "Basic Information".
Why do games want to know who your friends are? Easy, that way they can get you to invite your friends so they can "help" you in the game. It's also common for games to request permission to post to your wall. Unless you really want ads to be posted on your wall, I suggest either not adding this app or as soon as you install it disable the posting to wall feature.

tl;dr: Lesson: Read the permissions you give apps before you install them. Otherwise you're probably giving them more than you realize.

Thanks for reading! :)

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