A rogue application is a Facebook application developed by someone with fraudulent or deceitful intentions. The application often doesn’t perform its stated objectives. They are designed to obtain account information of the user, and they can be used to spread spam, scams or other malware to friends of the infected account. Typical examples are:
- Profile Viewer Apps
- Apps that redirect to phishing links and forms
- Apps that lead to malicious downloads
- Apps that lead to survey scams
The best way to guard against rogue applications is to avoid any third-party Facebook applications entirely. If this approach is too extreme for you, there are some steps you can take to help protect your account.
1. Be very selective in the applications you install. Stick with applications from well known developers and software companies. If you are tempted to install a more obscure application, then research it thoroughly before doing so.
2. Double check the permissions you have granted to Facebook applications currently installed. You can access this list either by the privacy settings or account settings. Click the padlock or the gears icon located in the top right corner of your Facebook page, or use this link to be taken straight there. If you navigate to the page manually, you’ll want to look for the Apps icon in the left column.
Here, you can click the Edit link to review the permissions of any apps you have installed or simply click the ‘x’ to remove them.
Here you can see what Facebook data the application has access to, the last time it accessed your data, and you can set privacy settings for the application in question. Notice there is also a “Remove app” link on this screen as well. If you find an app is too intrusive, then you can click this link to easily remove it from your account.
It is a good idea to check these settings from time to time. Application developers have been known to change required application permissions. Always be mindful of what data access a third party developer requests. Be especially suspicious of applications requesting the following:
- Complete and total access to your Facebook account – An app requesting too many permissions is a big warning sign.
- Access to Facebook Chat – You don’t want the app spamming malicious links via chat messages to your friends.
- The right to manage your Pages or Events – It is a common ploy for scammers to create bogus pages and events to spread their messages virally across Facebook.
Keep this information in mind the next time you think about installing a Facebook application! One rogue application can impact a large number of innocent users, and you don’t want the infection traced back to you!
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