Tag Archives: facebook privacy issue
Facebook Privacy Issue – Have you taken lollipop?
Facebook provides a great platform through which you can stay in touch with your friends and let them know what you are doing, your thoughts, likes, dislikes, and even your plans for the weekend.
So many people breezily share a lot of personal information on social networking websites, something that they don’t do in real world. Somehow, the internet seems to make things impersonal, even if not anonymous. Although such websites have brought people from across the world closer, there are still risks that are associated with these websites, mainly due to the amount of personal information that people share in them.
Malicious Links on Social Networks
When you click on a malicious link posted on your friend’s wall, there are very high chances that your PC will get infected by the worm Net-Worm.Win32.Koobface.b.
Kaspersky Labs, which offers products like Kaspersky Internet Security 2012, has a comprehensive database of such worms that affect social networking sites. According to Alexander Gostev from Kaspersky Labs (Senior Virus Analyst), the chances of clicking on such malicious links are higher because they are usually posted by the user’s friends on the website. In such cases, Kaspersky Internet Security helps you communicate safely, while steering clear of all such viruses.
Other Side of Facebook Apps
And then, there are Facebook Apps. Facebook Apps range from those that help you manage your status messages to ones that help you determine trivia about yourself. You can find Apps that predict your weekend to Apps that help share your baby’s photos. There are even Apps that help you tell the world how you are feeling right now.
Facebook games like Farmville, Cityville, Café World, and Angry Birds are also popular among its users. The problem here is that in order to access these games or Apps on Facebook, you’ll need to give varying levels of access to your profile and your wall. Some applications ask for access to your entire friend network, wall, and also for the permission to post on your wall.
Do users want everyone to see all information and updates about themselves on Facebook?
Intelligent users do set visibility permissions, but, when you they provide access to a lot of Facebook applications, there’s a high chance that they will be exposed to privacy violations.
The ‘Take This Lollipop’ Effect
Take This Lollipop is an App that demonstrates how easy it is to use a Facebook App to gain information about you, your friends, your likes and dislikes and finally, where you live.
To drive the point home, the App is modeled on a horror movie. Once you grant the App all the privileges that it requires, it takes you into a movie. You go down a dark lane into a house. A dirty, lonely man sits in front of a computer, and logs into Facebook. He accesses your account. Soon you see your photos, wall posts, and status messages scroll by on the screen.
The man gets more and more obsessed by what he sees. Finally, he manages to locate your address. He then turns and looks at you through the screen, and gives a menacing smile. He gets into a car and starts driving towards your house with your profile picture pasted on his dashboard.
Learn the Dangers
If you want to find out how much info can be gathered about you by the simple act of granting permission to an app to access your account, try this App. It is not a malicious one, and is just designed to warn unwary users about the dangers of sharing too much information indiscriminately.
The video is excellently done. Even though it is not real, you do get the feeling of your privacy being invaded when you see the man on the screen seeing your profile, wall posts, photos, videos, status messages and then finally finding your geographic location. Regardless of whether you do try the App or not, be wary of sharing your information with everyone.