Think twice before using Facebook to log into other apps & websites

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Think twice before using Facebook to log into other apps & websites
Image Credit: Facebook
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If you’re an avid user of social media, perhaps the most recent Facebook data breach is still fresh on your mind. The Menlo Park, California-based company said late last week that 50 million users were affected in a site-wide hack.

You’d think Facebook, especially after the Cambridge Analytica data scandal, would be on top of things like privacy and security, but the social networking giant evidently has yet to steady its mighty ship.

Why using your Facebook login for other websites may not be so secure anymore

In disclosing the breach, one puzzling thing Facebook made a point to say was that “There’s no need for anyone to change their passwords.” But the social media giant didn’t exactly tell users how to protect themselves (aside from logging off and back on). Furthermore, Facebook didn’t divulge who might be responsible for the breaching of users’ personal information this time.

If you don’t think this is a serious breach, perhaps now’s a good time to remind you that countless websites and apps allow Facebook login to access their sites. If you take advantage of this, your personal info could be at risk basically every time you’re using your PC, tablet or smartphone.

Change your Facebook password

With so much uncertainty about this data breach, we decided to share a tried-and-true way of lowering your risk of being hacked in the future.

Do these two things: Change your password so that your Facebook login won’t make you susceptible to breaches on other sites. And adjust your settings on Facebook to remove third-party websites and apps that have access to your personal information.

Here’s how to change your Facebook password in 3 easy steps

  1. To change your password, go to Facebook’s settings in the top right corner of the screen. Hover over the arrow and a vertical menu will drop down. Click Settings.
How your Facebook login exposes your privacy + how to protect it
Photo credit: Facebook screenshot

2. Next, in the left-hand rail, you’ll see Security and Login under the General settings. Click it.

How your Facebook login exposes your privacy + how to protect it
Photo credit: Facebook screenshot

3. Once you do that, if you look in the middle of the screen, you’ll see Change Password. When you click it, it will take you to a box where you’ll need to enter your current password, new password and then re-type the new password.

How your Facebook login exposes your privacy + how to protect it
Photo credit: Facebook screenshot

To see which websites you’ve allowed Facebook to access go back to the Settings page and click on Apps and Websites. When you click there, it will pull up a grid of all the apps and websites that you have allowed access to via your Facebook account.

You should see a line that says, “These are apps and websites you’ve used Facebook to log into and have recently used. They can request info you chose to share with them.”

You’ll have to click on each individual website to edit its settings.

How your Facebook login exposes your privacy + how to protect it
Photo credit: Facebook screenshot

4. If you click on View and Edit for any particular website, it will tell you all of the personal data it has on you.

To remove it, click on Apps, Websites and Games in the Preferences section. If this section is “turned on,” click Edit.

How your Facebook login exposes your privacy + how to protect it
Photo credit: Facebook screenshot

Once you do that, a dialog box will open, telling you that if you turn off this setting, “You won’t be able to log into apps or websites using Facebook.” Click the blue Turn Off button.

How your Facebook login exposes your privacy + how to protect it
Photo credit: Facebook screenshot
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Craig Johnson is a conscious money-saver who still reads paperback books and listens to vinyl. He likes to write about how technology is making things easier and more affordable — but also sometimes more dangerous — for the modern consumer. You can reach Craig at [email protected]
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