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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?


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