Which apps are accessing your Facebook account?

facebook-iconFacebook and privacy is a constant issue for many people and there always seems to be a way that information leaks out. How are your Facebook details accessed and who can access them? Here is one way.

Privacy issues with Facebook are mostly our own fault for not setting it up right and for giving too many apps too much access. Logging in to websites, playing games and other apps on mobile phones and tablets can all allow third parties access to your personal information.

You should regularly check which apps have access to your account and revoke permission for those that you no longer use. Keeping the apps and companies that can access your personal details to a minimum is a good way to minimise unwanted leakage and to maintain privacy.

Go to Facebook in your web browser and click the little down arrow in the top right-hand corner of the page. Select Settings from the menu that is displayed.

 Facebook settings

On the next page is a menu down the left-hand side. Select Apps and a list of apps that can access your Facebook details and, sometimes, post on your behalf, is displayed.

 Facebook app permissions

This probably is not all the apps and to see the full list, click the Show all link at the bottom. As you mouse over each app, two icons appear at the right-hand side.

 Facebook app permisions

To completely remove an app and revoke permissions, click the cross icon. Do this with apps you no longer use and it will prevent the developer from accessing your account. Why let them have access if you are no longer using the app?

 Facebook app permissions

Click an app and it shows what information the app can access. Some of the items can be changed, but some cannot. You can revoke permission for certain items and limit what information the app can access, or who it can post to.

 Facebook app permissions

Check each app and if you no longer use it, then delete it. If you need it, check the permissions and disable anything that is optional – dark blue ticks indicate items that are optional and can be disabled. In the screenshot above, Custom friends lists is not required, so why give permission? Click the tick and that item will no longer be available to the app developer.

Don’t sleepwalk into Facebook privacy issues and over-sharing simply because you never checked the settings. It is important that you know what is being shared and with whom.

Social networking means sharing information, just take care who you share it with.

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