**UPDATE: Due to the numerous errors reported by our readers who have installed the application, we are recommending that you do not install the Facebook application at this time. We think the original premise behind the app is a good one, but clearly there are some bugs and issues that need to be resolved first.**
The developers of the Social Privacy Protector (SPP) browser extension for Firefox has made it much easier for Facebook users to purge their friends list of fake profiles. As it is, a lot of cybercriminals, including pedophiles and identity thieves, use fake Facebook profiles. The new Facebook application is called Friend Protector and can be installed by clicking here. (make sure you are signed in to Facebook)
Basically, the app is an algorithm that analyzes user’s Facebook friends lists scientifically to rank the degree of connectivity, which is determined by the number of mutual links. Very few or no mutual links is a red flag that the profile could be a fake. After scanning your friends list, you can click a button to place a suspicious friend to ‘restricted’ status.
The App was conceived and developed by four people who are linked to the Ben-Gurion University of the Negev (BGU) in different capacities. These are Michael Fire, a Ph.D. candidate in BGU’s Department of Information Systems Engineering, Prof. Yuval Elovici of BGU, and two undergraduate students Dima Kagan and Aviad Elishar of BGU’s Telekom Innovation Laboratories and Information Systems Engineering Department. The two undergraduate students worked on the app as part of their final project for their undergraduate degrees.
The SSP extension makes it easier for parents/guardians to protect their children on Facebook. Without it, concerned parents are required to navigate through Facebook’s complicated privacy settings in order to block suspicious profiles. Michael Fire explained, “An important feature of our app is the ability for parents to better protect their kids’ privacy with just one click instead of having to navigate the more complicated Facebook privacy settings.” SPP also flags installed Facebook applications that could threaten a user’s privacy.
BitDefender Safego is a Facebook application you can install that will scan your News Feed and help keep you safe from scams on Facebook.
PRIVATE WiFi® is a Personal VPN that encrypts everything you send and receive. Don’t access Facebook from a public WiFi hotspot without it.
Do Not Track + is a FREE browser plugin created by Abine. This easy to install plugin keeps websites from tracking you. If you value your online privacy, then you should definitely take advantage of this free product.
Action Alert | Free Parental Control offers a 100% free Internet safety solution designed for parents. There is also a Maximum Protection option for parents that need a more advanced set of tools.