Your personal Facebook information may be easier to obtain then you may think
30 October, 2012 | Web design
Last week a Bulgarian blogger wrote that he had purchased a spreadsheet containing 1.1 million Facebook user IDs and email addresses for just $5...
The data was allegedly scraped by third-party apps and sold on a website called Gigbucks. Many of the Facebook accounts and email addresses were from private accounts, meaning the information couldn’t be scraped from the Facebook website.
It’s pretty scary how easy it is to unknowingly give up your personal information allow it to fall into the hands of scammers. This issue obviously raises privacy concerns for all Facebook users, however it isn’t Facebooks fault.
You allow certain privileges to third-party apps when you connect to them through your account. Most have access to private data in your profile (email address, user behaviour) and some allow your friends apps to access this data as well.
It’s mostly used to make the experiences around apps and games more social. But it would be relatively easy for a malicious app developer to scrape the information into a database and sell it to marketers and spammers like in this case...
But how can you protect yourself?
- Be wary of the apps you connect to your Facebook account
Only use apps you trust from established companies and even then try not to connect to them via Facebook.
- Check your apps regularly
Remove unwanted or unknown applications. Go to your privacy settings and remove all the apps that you are not using, as you may have connected to them via your account by mistake.
- Control what your friends apps can see about you
Even if you don’t have apps connected to your account, the private information you only share with friends might be accessible to the apps they are using. Turn this data off by editing the settings in How people bring your info into apps they use.
- Turn off the Facebook platform
If you never use any apps or games via Facebook you can completely disable the Facebook Platform, which will cut your private data off from third party developers completely.
By Luke Stanley