The recent revelations about the poor security of Facebook and how easy it has been for apps to share data from users profiles and friends have been a surprise to many. The Cambridge Analytica story has focused us on the value of our personal data and privacy.
A little known feature of Facebook is that third party apps install themselves onto your account (as you interact with various Facebook content) and if you have been a Facebook user for a few years you likely have dozens of these attached to your profile. Luckily there is an easy way of reviewing these and deleting any unrecognized or unwanted apps since third-party apps may have access to your Facebook friends list and other key information.
The third-party apps and games can be very entertaining and useful, but there are lots of examples of malicious apps installing themselves and acting like viruses. Such a feature expands Facebook’s capabilities through apps that aren’t built into the service, allowing you to play different games, for example. You can also use this feature to share recommendations and information on Facebook from other sites, such as Ebay or Netflix.
Third-party apps cause privacy concerns as they not only have access to your public information but to your friends list and other information you choose to share. That’s why it’s a really good idea to occasionally review the list of apps that you’ve connected to Facebook.
Here is the procedure to review and delete unwanted apps:
Log into your Facebook account using a web browser, either on your desktop or on your phone, click the down arrow on the top toolbar and click the option for Settings.
In the Settings screen, click the setting for Apps. Facebook displays a list of all the apps to which it’s connected.
Next to each app you can see a checkbox, select whichever apps you want to remove. Once you have ticked all the apps you want to remove, just click the ‘Remove’ Button at the top of the screen.
If you want to you can click the pencil icon next to each app to review the settings for the app and make any changes you feel that are needed. For example, you can change the audience who can see that you use this app as well as who can see any posts that the app makes on your behalf. Scroll down the screen further, and you may be able to turn off other settings, such as whether the app can post certain information on your behalf.
Doing the above is a positive step towards taking control of your privacy, but so bear in mind that so many of our apps track our usage and then target products and services back to us. The new GDPR Regulations are a step in the right direction as regards this.
Check Out the Walkthrough on How to Change Settings
Some further reading on Facebook Apps.