Why forgotten Facebook and Twitter apps could be real trouble

Why forgotten Facebook and Twitter apps could be real trouble

Facebook appsHow many apps have you connected to your Facebook and Twitter accounts over the years? It may be may more that you think – and they could have the potential to be real trouble.

Just think of all those fun little Facebook apps you signed up for, tried once and then forgot about. They’re all still sat there, with access to your account and personal details. If one of the app developers wanted to, they could cause you a whole world of pain.

Even if you’re quite careful with the apps you install, check your Facebook and Twitter settings and you may be surprised just how many apps you’ve granted ‘additional permissions’ to.

I was slightly shocked to discover an amazing 66 apps had varying levels of access to my account. While most of these long-forgotten novelties couldn’t do much hard with simply the ability post my recent activity with the app to my wall, some had the ability to send me emails and – more frighteningly – access my data even when I wasn’t using the app.

facebook_permissionsIn most cases the developers won’t mean any harm by this but it’s easy to see how some of them could cause trouble By leaving these unused apps with a backdoor to your data you’re leaving yourself open to potential trouble.

With Twitter, 13 apps have read and write access to my account. Most of these are third party Twitter clients like Brizzly and Seesmic but some (Twazzup, for example) I’d forgotten even existed and I may well never use again. As with Facebook, by leaving these connections open you’re leaving yourself open to potential troublemakers who can send messages from your Twitter account if they choose.

So, check your Facebook app connections here and your Twitter app connections here. You may get surprise. If you don’t use it, it’s probably best to lose it.

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