Not Appy

 In ITC's Threat of the Week

There you are, sitting at your computer seeking divine or other inspiration for your blog or just procrastinating; maybe you have to write an incredibly tedious bit of documentation that you are fairly certain will never be read, who knows?

As we all know, Social Media replaced thumb twiddling, navel gazing etc. as the number one distraction activity for children and grown ups alike some time ago, so in your moment of idle weakness, up pops a new app which promises to do something you simply cannot live without, perhaps to show what you might look like as a member of the opposite sex. And so it begins.

Despite a slight feeling of unease, you click on the path to nirvana and in your haste to see yourself as Kevina or somesuch you casually allow the app to have access to your details, your friends’ details, the whole kit and caboodle.

Somewhere in an ominous looking datacentre (mwahahaha), the data harvesting hoover sets to work, data brokers are engaged and your online soul (not to mention pieces of your mates’) starts bobbing around in a data lake, with crocodiles in it.

We find it somewhat confusing that people who either agree to have their data slurped or set their security settings inappropriately are in any way surprised when this data is slurped up and, shock horror used.

Just say NO and check your settings people, please!

Of course as with many topics in this blog, that is an oversimplification. It transpires that according to employees like Sandy Parakilas, Facebook has been aware of misuse of its data for some time and not done much about it.

We all know that politics is a dirty game and that political parties gather as much data as possible about the electorate in order to focus their campaigns, the sheer scale and potential for abuse that social media offers boggles the mind. Something might even be done about it, maybe, what’s that you say, a flying pig?

As ever the boys and girls at Sophos have great coverage here.

If you have had enough of all of this and want to delete your Facebook profile, here is how to do it, alternatively just play smart!

You would be wise to follow Business Insider’s suggestion on how to limit or turn-off 3rd party app access to your Facebook data by going to Settings/Apps/Websites and Plugins. If you like, turn the “Platform Off” so that no app or person ever has access to your data. Alternatively you can constrain it for each individual app. If you notice apps you don’t use, delete them.

If you would like some handy tips for staying safe online, or helping your staff to do the same, please contact us at: enquiries@itcsecure.com or call 020 7517 3900.

Author: Kevin Whelan

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