James Mayes

Posts Tagged ‘privacy settings’

Blog: How many apps can access your Facebook profile?

In Facebook, Facebook tips, Social Media on February 24, 2011 at 1:30 pm

I intended recently to remove a Facebook app from BranchOut – it’s a recruitment tool, but one that so far seems more interested in spamming profiles than delivering value.  I then thought I’d blog about the methods, only to discover Andy Headworth had beaten me to it.  Great minds and all that. I’m not annoyed 😉 I’ve got a slightly different method – but I also want you to consider the other apps you find in there…

I try to keep an eye on the apps I install or authorise – after all, they all represent a potential security risk.  Even so, I was surprised to find 65 non-Facebook applications can access my profile. All were things I’d authorised at various points, but even so – at least 30 of them hadn’t been activated in the last 6 months (yes, Facebook shows you that).

Facebook Account Menu

The list of apps that have access to my details, or can post on my behalf, is now much smaller.

Want to sort yours out? Here’s what to do. Click on the Privacy Settings option. You’ll get a view of how different things on your account are shared – and indeed, while you’re here – check you’re happy with those settings.  For checking on your installed apps, the button you want is to the bottom-left of your screen.


Once you’ve found this, click on Edit Settings. You’ll see a short summary of the most recent apps in use, plus some other privacy settings. Instant Personalisation is one I blogged about recently, thought it’s not yet live on my account. Next to the short list of recent apps, click the Edit Settings button – you’ll see the full list. Facebook shows you when they were last used, and gives you the option to edit settings for each one. Next to the edit option though, there’s a little blue cross – click on that, you’ll get the option to remove the app completely.

In less than 10 minutes, I went from 65 apps to 39. I have a few things to check, but a load more may soon disappear too.  How many did you have?  More than you thought, I’d wager. Let me know in the comments!



Blog: New Facebook privacy change – Instant Personalisation

In Facebook, Social Media on January 8, 2011 at 7:33 am

As happens regularly, Facebook are once again updating the way privacy settings are used to control access to your data – and it’s release to third-party websites.  In this case, the changes focus on what Facebook consider to be non-sensitive public information – such as movie ratings and music tastes.

By making this wealth of information available to commercial sites who focus on music and movies, Facebook can monetise the data. In turn, such sites can use the information to show you films and albums based on the things you and your friends have already talked about on Facebook.  This may well result in a more refined web shopping experience for you in future.  It might also leave you with concerns as to which sites are getting the data in the first place.

Facebook call this service Instant Personalisation.  The roll-out is happening gradually (it’s already live for some of my friends in the USA, it’s not hit my account yet). I’m not going to cast judgement (yet!) on whether I think this is a positive change – but I’ll offer you a link to the video where Facebook explain more.

As with many Facebook settings, it’s buried deep within the privacy menu, and I doubt Facebook will shout loudly when it goes live on your account. It is enabled by default and Facebook would like you to leave it that way. If you want to check whether it’s live for you – or disable it in future – this is where to look.

First, click on your account menu, top left of screen.  Then open the Privacy Settings tab.  This opens the privacy page, where you’ll be looking for the Apps & Websites option on the bottom-left, as pictured.  

Near the bottom of this section, you’ll find the option to Edit Settings for the Instant Personalisation service, as show.

Once you’ve clicked Edit Settings, Facebook will show you whether Instant Personalisation is live on your account (mine isn’t yet).  If you wish to disable, remove the tick and Save Changes.

As always, share this post if you think it’s useful – and if I missed anything important, please feel free to add your thoughts in the comments.

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