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 by clicking the down arrow in the top right corner and then clicking the ‘settings’ link. Then you’ll want to click on the ‘Apps’ link located in the left column. This will take you to the App Settings page. You can also use this link to be taken straight there.
Here, you can hover over a specific application to edit the permissions or delete the app entirely. Click the pencil icon to edit and the ‘X’ to remove.
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. If you don’t recognize an app or don’t use it often, then you might want to uninstall it.
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.
If you don’t use apps at all, then we recommend disabling the app platform. Just underneath the ‘Logged in with Facebook‘ section, look on the left side of the page and click the edit link in the ‘Apps, Websites and Plugins‘ section.
Click the Disable Platform button and you’re good to go.
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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