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Facebook quizzes, games giving personal info away, experts say

Ever take one of those Facebook quizzes to find out more about yourself? Maybe you wanted to know which celebrity you’re most like or which city you should really be living in. If you frequent Facebook quizzes or play the game apps, experts say many of those developers may have been keeping a close eye on more than your interests and high score.

“It’s software running inside Facebook that accesses your profile information and then lets you do something fun and interesting,” said Mike Chapple, Ph.D., an expert in Cyber Safety and Security and Associate Professor at Notre Dame.

Cyber space has done the trick again. If you’ve ever taken one of those Facebook quizzes or played a Facebook game app, you might be sharing more info than you thought.

“The quizzes are addictive right? Companies are building these apps that do all sorts of different interesting things. What people often don’t know is that those people get access to your profile information,” said Chapple.

And it’s not just for game and quiz creators to look at.

“Your list of friends, maybe your posts, all sorts of different information that Facebook has about you is then shared with that third party,” said Chapple.

They’ll even go as far as creating a second ‘you’.

“One of the most common things that’ll happen with these smaller apps that come from unknown developers is that they’ll, then, create fake Facebook profiles using your information. They can get your name, your photo all from your profile. And then they get your friends list and they use your fake profile then to contact these people,” said Chapple.

So how can you prevent your personal info from being shared?

“When you see that pop up message asking if you want to allow an application to access your information, you should think about whether you really want to,” said Chapple.

You can also edit what those apps can see.

Chapple says you may want to just take a look at the apps section of your Facebook account, especially if you’ve quickly agreed to the terms and conditions of these before.

“People often set it and forget it. They go and sign up for Facebook apps and maybe they’ve done 20, 30, 100 of these over the years,” said Chapple.

Because until you do…

“Those apps continue to have access to all of your personal information until you go in and disable it,” said Chapple.


Disabling/Editing app settings

If you want to disable those apps, follow these instructions:

On a laptop/desktop, click the arrow in the top right corner

Go down to settings

Click on ‘Apps’

Hover above the app you want to disable

Click the ‘X’ to remove the app from your page completely

If you want to simply edit what information the app has access to, click edit and choose manually.

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