Internet Safety | Control What Friends Can With Apps & Websites

by Beth Montgomery on August 30, 2012

I was floored today when I headed over to get a Chili’s coupon and found that to get it not only did I have to give them my religious and political view, work and education history, location and a lot more, but also had to give up my friends.

While what I share with apps and companies is up to me, I don’t feel I have the right to give away my friend’s. That should be up to them.

Apparently, I’m not alone, because after I posted the deal with a warning, I got a few emails from readers saying their friends got the coupon and asking if there was any way to stop friends from sharing their information, so I did a little research.

Myth: If I Remove the App, I Take Away the Information

A common misconception is that you can approve the app, then quickly remove it. Many don’t realize that once you approve the app, the damage is done. Apps and websites that ask you for permission can immediately store the information they receive. Per Facebook, you have to contact the developer directly to have you (and your friend’s) information removed.

How to Control What Friends Share About You

You probably have many friends who play games, enter contests, print coupons, and more. Since most people don’t read terms or permissions before accepting them, who knows what they’ve shared.

However, hidden within your privacy settings, you do have the ability to control what your friends share about you.

Opt Out Completely

You do have the ability to opt completely out of the Facebook Connect feature.

  • Go to your Privacy Settings
  • Click “Edit Settings” next to Ads, Apps, and Websites

  • Under “Apps you use” click the “Turn Off” link.

Warning: This turns off your ability to interact with apps, plugins, and websites through Facebook. No one will store information about you, but you also will not be able to get coupons and use many other Facebook features.

Manage Your Privacy Settings

If you love to get coupons and freebies online, there is a less dramatic, but also a bit less effective option.

  • Follow the steps above, except the very last step
  • Instead, next to “How people bring your information to apps they use” click “Edit Settings”

  • In the pop-up, uncheck every box that contains information you do not want friends sharing with the apps, websites, and games they use.

Important Note:Keep in mind, friends will still be able to share your friend list, gender, and any information you set to “public”.

Remove Old Apps

While you’re there, make sure to click on “Edit Settings” next to “Apps you use” to remove old apps that have permission to access your information. Click the X next to apps you want to remove to get started.

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