How many times have you allowed a third-party site to have access to your Facebook account? Do you even remember what you’ve allowed each of these sites to do? Probably not. Here’s how you can manage your settings.
Why Do We Do It?
I don’t know about you, but I hate creating new accounts all the time, especially for smaller sites I don’t really trust. Somehow it feels safer to give them limited access to some information from Facebook than to give them my details directly. Whether that is a bad judgement or not is not the point. That’s just the thought process that leads me to login using Facebook. Obviously, I’m not alone here.
This goes doubly for apps on my phone. It’s so much easier to use a Facebook login than to type out details to create a new account. Some apps don’t even give you a choice anymore: it’s your Google account or your Facebook account.
Signing Up With A Third-Party Site
When you use your Facebook login to sign into a third-party website you can actually make adjustments to the permissions as you go. The most important thing to remember is that when a site you’re signing up to says they want access to your information you can actually make adjustments to what they can access. You can deny the app or site access to your friends list, but they will always have basic profile access, so they can see things such as your name and profile picture.
Secondly, when the app or site says they want to post to your timeline on your behalf, you can actually choose the privacy level of those posts then and there. So instead of blindly clicking okay, stop and change the privacy to “Friends Only”, some custom friends list or “Only Me”. That way, the app can make as many posts as it likes and only the right people will see it. You can also choose to skip this part and not let the app post at all. Your choice.
Some sites and apps will now let you log in anonymously for a trial period. By using this, the application won’t get any information from Facebook, but they may still collect information about your usage habits and any other data you give them directly. It’s great for a quick-start to let you see if you like the app or not.
Review Your Application Permissions
Every now and then it’s worth reviewing your application settings, as you’ll usually find things aren’t quite what you had expected.
Head to Facebook Settings > Apps and you’ll see a list of all the apps you’ve connected. Thankfully, Facebook makes it clear what the privacy settings are for each app, so you can scan through the list and adjust anything that’s set to Public or “Friends” to something less public. Or, you can use this view to delete apps you don’t recognise or don’t want to use anymore.
Purging the apps completely isn’t a terrible idea, either. For most apps, if you accidentally remove access to something you use, it’s simple enough to set it up again later.
If you want to disable the use of third-party application logins altogether, head to “Apps, Websites and Plugins”, then click “Edit” and choose “Disable Platform”. This will disable all of the current logins and stop you from using Facebook logins in the future.
Apps Others Use
While you’re here, head to the “Apps Others Use” section and make sure your settings are as you’d wish. This tells Facebook how much information to share with the apps your friends install. So, consider the potentially dodgy apps that those acquaintances from work may have installed and check the boxes accordingly. As you can see, I think highly of my acquaintances and only allow their apps to see if I’m online or not. I figure that’s useful for communication, so it may as well stay.
How Do You Manage App Logins?
Do you have numerous third-party apps? Have you set them to post to “Only Me” or have you got some other system in place? Does the option to “Disable Platform” appeal? Let us know what you do.