Privacy & Security 2 min. read

Security tip of the week: Don’t use Facebook to sign in to other apps

Security tip of the week: Don’t use Facebook to sign in to other apps

Welcome to Hotspot Shield’s “Security Tip of the Week”, where we offer helpful suggestions to protect you and your family online. This week: Why you should never use Facebook to sign into other apps.

I know, signing into apps or websites via Facebook (or Google, Twitter, and other social networks) can be quick and easy. When you open an app, providing you’re still logged into Facebook, you will quickly have access without having to sign in or even set up an account. This makes it far more convenient.

That convenience, however, comes at a price.

By opting for the convenient route of signing into an app via Facebook, rather than signing up for a new account, you’re allowing that app to access all the information from your social media — effectively opening a secret backdoor to your personal data.

There are less sinister reasons an app might want you to log in via Facebook rather than set up an account with an email and password. For example, OAth.

What’s OAth? That’s where you use a third party site (like Facebook) to authorize access to an app. The main benefit for the app maker is that by using OAth it doesn’t need to store your email and password, therefore from a security standpoint, it has less to worry about.

While there’s nothing necessarily wrong with this, you still shouldn’t do it. Your Facebook account contains a treasure trove of data, and unless you’ve read the app’s privacy policy in detail, you aren’t sure what the company will do with the data it gets from Facebook.

What’s more, in some cases, the data sharing may be mutual — meaning Facebook could access the data from the app you’re using. This is another example of the giant web of data that’s out there, all of which is susceptible to data breaches and can be used by hackers to create a fake identity under your name. Hence someone gets their identity stolen every two seconds, and identity theft is the fastest growing crime in America.

Don’t forget: Facebook doesn’t just collect and then sell your data to advertisers. It also buys your data off third parties. This means its profile on you is more complete than you probably ever imagined. In fact, Facebook (and Google) likely know more about you than even your closest friends.

Your data is your business. While signing in via social apps like Facebook is convenient, it puts your personal information at risk.

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