The new social feature on the networking website apparently allowed companies to install applications into your profile on the sly, until this week.
How did they do that? According to PCWorld, if you were surfing while logged onto Facebook, applications for the sites you visited were secretly added to your profile. A Facebook spokesman admitted to the magazine that there was a bug, but said that "no information was shared with those applications and the user's list of applications was not shown to anyone but the user. The bug has been fixed."
That's little comfort though. I found quite a few unwanted guests on mine. I went through the same sinking feeling like I did when I discovered someone had burglarized my apartment. OK, not that extreme maybe, but it's still no fun to be invaded on.
I have since thrown out the intruders. Here's how you can do the same:
- Once your are logged on, click on the Account tab on the right.
- Go to the drop down menu and click on Application Settings.
- The applications that were added to your profile on the sly will have an "x" next to it.
- Click on the "x" and send them away.
There is no guarantee just yet that more applications will not get added to your account in the future. One possible way to prevent that would be to logout from Facebook when browsing the net. But this is an annoyance, and will probably not work for most people's browsing habit.
The only solution seems to be occasional visits to your own application settings page to keep intruders at bay. Annoying? Yes, but that's better than having unwanted eyes keeping tabs on you.