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Facebook Applications Are Trojan Horses For Identity Thieves

If you use Facebook, you may soon find yourself a victim of identity theft. Third party "applications" make it possible for bad seeds to get crucial personal information available on your profile, even if you do not download them. All it takes is one of your friends to add a malignant application, and boom — your name, hometown, school, interests and photograph, are all available, no matter your privacy settings.

BBC posed as potential bad guys, developed an "identity mining" facebook application that could pose as a game, found a security breach, and then wrote all about it. I hope the bad guys don't read BBC!

The team tried the same thing with MySpace. To see if it worked,


MySpace requires applications to run on the MySpace servers, and checks all submissions, and all code changes for foul play. BBC could not breach MySpace.

Facebook responded to the security concerns, explaining that their Investigations Team watches the site and removes content and applications that violate Facebook's Terms of Use. However, experts are not convinced, saying that because applications run on third-party servers, it is difficult for the company to really monitor them.

So, it looks like finding out which Sex and the City character you are may cost you your real identity. Is this outrageous, considering you don't even have to have the application yourself? Check out some tips for protecting yourself.

What are you doing to protect your identity in the 21st century?


Join The Conversation
terryt18 terryt18 9 years
Meike Meike 9 years
It's a good thing I decline most of the apps.
janneth janneth 9 years
This was so inevitable.
i-am-awesomeness i-am-awesomeness 9 years
eek! No, what my friends do should NOT affect me. Ok, this pisses me off like Facebook Chat.
bailaoragaditana bailaoragaditana 9 years
Yikes. I need my facebook, but... this is ridiculous. Applications are crap anyways.
Cherylish Cherylish 9 years
That's kind of scary. And I was anti-application for so long before I finally gave in! At least the BBC site gives you a way to prevent this from happening.
MarinerMandy MarinerMandy 9 years
I knew I hated Facebook for a good reason!
graduatedsqueaks graduatedsqueaks 9 years
haha it.
j2e1n9 j2e1n9 9 years
Ew gross. I hate online social crap. Wait, this doesnt count as one does it? This is all anon at least, right? ;)
Shopaholichunny Shopaholichunny 9 years
:ROTFL: Racic.
idawson idawson 9 years
thanks for the info; always thought that there must be another side to all those applications wanting your profile information. we live in such a crazy age
raciccarone raciccarone 9 years
So I guess joining that Facebook app "what's YOUR social security number and mother's maiden name" game was probably a bad idea.
DesignRchic DesignRchic 9 years
Oh Snap!
brittanyk brittanyk 9 years
Ugh. Wonderful. Those applications are annoying enough and now I might get identity theft from them? Geez.
syako syako 9 years
facebook is :evil:
foxie foxie 9 years
Scary!!! *runs to delete all friends*
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