Lots of people like Facebook apps for fun and games. Fine. I know many who play word games and, even though these apps constantly send me invites, they are, on the whole, more annoying.than dangerous.
But many of them are outright scams.
The first thing you must always remember about third party Facebook applications is that anyone can create them. There is no formal review process for applications or developers on the Facebook platform. Anyone and everyone can create apps. Any scammer can create an app.
You may think that if it’s on Facebook then it must be legitimate. NO. The majority of Facebook applications are questionable at best
If you’re sent invites to play this, that or the other, have a look at the app itself.
Check the application first
Once you are on the application page, here is a list of things you should check
Click on the info tab.
- Who developed the application? Is there anything known about the developer? Hundreds of apps have absolutely no information provided on the ‘info’ tab of the app in question.
- How many people are using the application and how are the reviews? Don’t go by sheer numbers alone. Rogue applications quickly garner thousands of users. Check out the user reviews and wall postings on the application page.
- How Intrusive is the application? How much of my personal data is required by the developer? Does it want your birthday? Perhaps it wants your complete profile information.
Here’s the application permission screen for a popular app on Facebook.
Seriously, do you want a total stranger, an anonymous stranger, to have access to your account information? What do they want it for? Scammers can mine Facebook accounts for information they can later use for identity theft.
P.S. Any application offering to show you who has viewed your profile, who your Facebook stalkers are etc., is guaranteed to be fraudulent. Facebook doesn’t allow developers access to the data required to create apps like this.