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Saturday, October 29, 2011

Have You Checked Your Facebook Apps Recently?

I couple of days ago I highlighted Google Good to Know which explains a lot of what you need to know about how Google and other companies collect and use data about your browsing habits. Today, I'd like to remind you to check up on the Facebook apps you've authorized.

Remember that Facebook quiz you took last year to figure out which 1980's wrestling star you are most like? Or do you remember that application you used to determine which celebrity haircut best suits the shape of your face? Unless you've gone into your apps authorization menu and deactivate those apps, they could still be collected information about you. And depending on what the app was authorized to do, it could post to your wall on your behalf.

Applications for Education
Why should you care about this? Because as professionals who are in the public view (yes, even those of you who have very restrictive settings on your Facebook account) you don't want to have a long-forgotten Facebook app to either post on your behalf or worse yet if the app itself is compromised running the risk of your account being compromised. I'm not saying that you should go into your Apps settings menu and deactivate all of your apps. But you should take a look and see what you have authorized and since forgotten about. If it's not something you've used in the last six months, deactivate it.

Pass this reminder and information along to your students too. Facebook is a huge part of many students' digital footprints, they should be actively managing that footprint.

I also recommend reading Wes Fryer's blog post about using Socioclean to manage your digital footprint.