You access number of applications in Facebook just for fun. But do you know you are compromising your privacy with unknown people through such applications?
Yes, Facebook Apps Does Have Your Personal Data
The much discussed new Facebook policy, however, brings to light something that an average Facebook user may not have ever known at all: Facebook applications access your personal data.
Why the Policy Change is Riskier Than It Appears
A popular application’s database could be filled with literally millions of users’ personal details (Facebook now touts 500 million users and Facebook’s most popular app, Farmville, for instance, boasts over 87 million users). If such a database was targeted for attack, the payload for hackers could be incredible.
It’s also worth noting, it’s impossible for Facebook to know about how application developers are using the data they collect. If a developer chooses to use that data in ways that are misleading, malicious or that break the company’s terms of agreement, Facebook may not be aware. With 500,000 supported applications, Facebook just doesn’t have the resources to police the apps they house.
How to Remove Facebook Applications
To the end user, these changes may sound overwhelming and even scary. But there is something very easy everyone can do to minimize their risk and that’s delete the Facebook applications you no longer use.
The process of doing so is incredibly simple.
After signing into Facebook, do the following:
1. Click on “Account” at the top-right of the screen.
2. Click “Privacy Settings”
3. Scroll down to bottom and click on “Edit your settings” under Applications and Websites.
4. You can see an option “Applications you use” Click on “Edit Settings”
5. In the resulting list, click the “X” button on the far right next to each app you want to remove to delete it.
6. On the pop-up box that appears, click “Remove” then click “Okay” on the next box confirming the app was deleted.
Repeat this process to remove all the apps you no longer use on a regular basis.
Doing this won’t eliminate risk entirely – nothing can do that – but it’s a good first step in reducing risk. However, as long as you have a Facebook account, your data won’t be private.
If true privacy is really a concern for you, it may be time to find that account delete button instead. (Hint: it’s under “Account Settings.”)