My use of Twitter has become somewhat patchy, as demands on my time increase. However I did come across something that caught my eye, someone tweeted
“WOW! You can see WHO VISITS your TWITTER profile. That’s cool! :) ”
Immediately followed by
“I just viewed my TOP20 Profile STALKERS. I can’t believe my EX is still checking me every day”
For reasons I can’t fathom, I casually clicked on the link supplied, and inadvertently gave a third party application access to my account, which then tweeted the same messages as above, but from me!
This type of spam is now going on all the time in Social Media, especially with Facebook and Twitter. Third party software makes social networking great, however it needs access to your account details to operate. You don’t want to get rid of it, because then you wouldn’t be able to do things such as tweet from your iPhone, or get updates of whose birthday it is this week on Facebook. Unfortunately to make it work for the good apps, it also has to work for the bad apps such as the FOLLOW YOU spam that caught me.
To fix this is easy, and also a little frightening.
In Twitter : Goto Account | Settings | Connections and then revoke access for anything you don’t want accessing your account.
In Facebook : Goto Account : Privacy settings | Edit your Apps and Websites Settings (bottom left corner) then remove the unwanted or spammy apps by clicking the x against each one.
In LinkedIn : Goto Settings | Groups, Companies & Applications | View your Applications then select the ones you don’t like and click the remove button.
The frightening part is how many apps over time I had inadvertently given access to my account. Although I was using only a handful, 39 different apps could access all my details on Facebook, including items such as the delightfully labelled “Vibrating Hamster”! Any of these could be sending out messages on my behalf, which I wouldn’t notice unless I was vigilant.
I don’t want to to have to give up Social Media, so have decided to diarise a task every three months, to check 3rd part application access to my social media. The definition of Spam maybe somewhat subjective, but if nothing else I want to make conscious, informed decisions about what I do on social media.
And yes, if you clicked on the chicken when it was sent to you on Facebook, you become a player in the Farmville Game, automatically allowing Farmville access to you account with right to update your status on your behalf. Not my thing at so many levels.