The other day a long time friend shot me a note to say that my Facebook account was hacked. I really appreciated the call but when I checked my account, it was not hacked. I had allowed the “would be hacker” permission to post on my Facebook page.
What had happened was that I saw a “funny” video posted on a friends website. When I clicked to view the video, it requested that I use my Facebook login to view it.
The implied permission gave the video website the ability to post what I watched to my Facebook profile any time I watched a video on their site. Needless to say the video was not one I wanted to broadcast to my friends and colleagues; a parody of Wallmart shoppers caught in what you might call embarrassing poses.
As more websites use your Facebook account as the login key, I wanted to advise everyone to conduct an AUDIT of all the websites you have given access to your Facebook account. When I did my audit I was shocked just how many sites had varying degrees of access. A handful of sites I could not recognize while others have been closed for a long time.
You will want to click on the “Account Settings” menu choice to reveal a larger set of options for your account. I never really took the time to review all my Facebook settings, but this experience made it very clear that we should all AUDIT our Facebook accounts.
Then, you will need to click on the “Apps” menu choice on the left, as shown on the graphic below. This menu choice will show you all the companies that you have used your Facebook account as a primary login method. I don’t know about your list, but mine was very long.
Any website accounts that are no longer used should be deleted. I had a number of sites that I deleted, and on a humorous note, a few of them were once “hot” social media website properties that have faded into the sunset.
To change permissions or to delete an App, you need to click on the “Edit” link next to the app, and this will be displayed:
As you can see, by using my Facebook account to login into MetaCafe, a popular video sharing website, I am granting a great deal more that I would have thought about. Are you comfortable that many of these sites have this type of access to your Facebook account? Why would I want MetaCafe to have access to my friends?
This AUDIT was important for me because it made me think that I should be using a standard email (gmail) login for social media websites and NOT my Facebook account. (i.e. email@example.com)
Yes, the Facebook login method is easy, but at what point does your information get in the hands of too many people? Do I want to subject my friends and my reputation to unwanted posts?
If you want to change the level of access granted for each app, you can click on the “x” next to each feature to remove that level of access. I had much work to do and I think many readers will also.
Take a minute to do an AUDIT and let me know what you found! Of course website companies would love to have more then just your login name and password, but do we want to give that information away?
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Brian Pasch, CEO
PCG Digital Marketing