Facebook apps can actually be fun to use if you’re not as paranoid as I am. Every now and then, I see Facebook apps predicting how much babies people are going to have in the future and how many cars they would have in their garage. Some ridiculous apps even guess how many people you’ve slept with, but people still use these apps anyway knowing fully well the results are just computational guesses.
Even though these apps flood my news feed because I have quite a lot of people on my Facebook friends list using them, I’ve never tried using any of them. It’s hard for me to grant a random Facebook app access to my account just because everyone uses it.
Why you shouldn’t use just any Facebook 3rd party app
Unknown to lots of Facebook users, these apps can be built by just anyone. A 13-year-old in his room somewhere in one corner of this planet can build a Facebook app, a marketing company might decide to have a Facebook application to get certain data from users.
While some Facebook app developers only want to create something just for the fun of it, there are others who create these apps just to get specific data from as many people as possible. If you’ve been following the Facebook data scandal over this past couple of months, you should have learned a thing or two. One of the most important lessons is the fact that Facebook isn’t completely run by Facebook.
While you’re simply allowing any app to access your data just to have a minute or two of fun, you might be giving away certain info about you just anybody shouldn’t have. While agreeing to use an app, you may be agreeing to share your email, date of birth, location, and even your private messages.
Over these past years, I’ve seen malicious Facebook apps that post on user’s wall repeatedly, making you look like a cheap spammer. I’ve seen apps that send messages to your friends using your account. remember those people always losing poundson Facebook?
That’s how ridiculous these random Facebook fun apps can make you look.
The real problem
The problem isn’t just giving these apps privileges they shouldn’t have without knowing it, it’s what they do with it afterward. Your data may be used for marketing purposes and you might start receiving (targeted) spam emails if the app is built to harvest users emails. You might be partaking in a certain research or survey without even knowing it. Your data might become a commodity being sold without your consent.
A nice looking Facebook app or game might turn rogue when the developer finally decides to blast your timeline with promotional posts or even worse, links to porn. I’ve seen all these happen before.
What you should do
It’s simple. You need to review apps you’ve granted access to your account and remove them. Here’s how to do it on the mobile app:
1. Go to the menu tab and scroll down until you see Account Settings under Settings & Privacy.
2. Scroll down and tap Apps.
3. Tap Logged in with Facebook.
4. Review each of the apps here under the ACTIVE tab. Select each of those you should get rid of and tap Remove app at the bottom. Be sure not to remove apps owned by trustworthy sites you regularly log in to.
5. Be sure to check the EXPIRED tab and review apps in this section too.
Some Facebook apps can be pretty dangerous. The next time an app or website requests access to your Facebook account, be sure it’s from a trusted source and also know exactly what it’s requesting for. Never allow any random app access to your account without reviewing the data being asked for and whether the app really needs it.