How to Check Facebook App Permissions to Protect Your Privacy
From accusations of sharing user information with advertisers to apps that track location, Facebook has attracted all sorts of hue and cry from the Internet savvy. Though CEO Zuckerberg has acknowledged making mistakes in the past as far as user privacy is concerned, it is worth noting that the social media giant also took measures to empower their massive customer base and allow them to optimize their privacy settings on their own. Take App Permissions for example. Most users are unaware of the fact that tweaking app permissions won’t just enhance their privacy but also narrow down apps they frequently use and trust.
Here’s a step by step guide on how to optimize Facebook’s app permissions:
Adjusting App Permissions
- Log into Facebook. Select ‘Privacy Settings’ by clicking on the arrow right next to your name.
- Find the ‘Apps and Websites’ option and select ‘Edit Settings’.
- Click ‘Edit Settings’ under ‘Apps You Use’. This will take you to your application settings page.
- For here on out you can either click the ‘X’ next to the application you don’t wish to use or click the ‘Edit’ button to more closely observe the app’s permissions associated with your Facebook account. This will provide you with information about what the app does, what kind of data it gathers and more. This can help you decide if the app associated with your account is of any use or is it simply leeching sensitive information and forwarding it to the developers/marketers.
After removing or updating the desired apps linked with your account click back to check the ‘How People Bring Your Info to Apps They Use’ section. Here you can make sure that the apps your friends and family subscribe to do not have access to information about you, at least not more than what you would like. It is highly recommended to uncheck everything present in that section to prevent information leakage to apps.
Another important action you can take to further strengthen your privacy is to skip social reader app. These apps, if given access to, publish everything you read or watch on partner sites to your timeline.
What most people do not understand is that privacy and security or two separate aspects of social media websites. This is especially true for Facebook which has different sections to change privacy and security settings to highlight them as separate tasks. Choosing a strong password or associating a cell phone number with your account to get login notifications might strengthen your account against cyber-attacks but how and what information you give access to is a completely different exercise. Verifying whether Facebook app permissions are calibrated according to your needs is not a common practice among Facebook users.
Even if you don’t subscribe to games or apps there is still a chance that some old app you gave permission to access your information is lurking in the deep recesses of your profile. Taking a few minutes to perform cleaning duties on your app permissions will definitely go a long way in enhancing privacy.
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