Facebook has struggled in the past with keeping users' personal information secure [source: Worth]. In fact, a Facebook security breach specifically involving apps and games was found by Symantec, the computer security firm, in May 2011 but has been corrected [source: CNN]. It's believed that no private user information was shared, and steps have been taken to upgrade to a more secure system for developers to use for games and apps on Facebook.
Does this mean that you shouldn't play social games on Facebook? And if you do, what can you do to protect yourself from identity theft? This page explores both of those questions.
Playing a game on Facebook takes you to a different Web site from Facebook.com. This means each game operates by its own privacy rules. Facebook offers a number of tips to help ensure the security of your personal information before you sign on to play their games [source: Facebook]:
- Periodically review the games you use and delete the ones you longer play. You can find these on Facebook's apps page (follow the instructions on the previous page of this article for deleting games and apps).
- Report games and apps that you suspect are not using your information in an appropriate manner. The "report/contact this app" link at the bottom of each game or app page will allow you to do so.
Still unsure? Links to lots more information about how to delete games or keep yourself secure on Facebook can be found below.
- Facebook Game Center. "List of the 10 Most Popular Facebook Games." Feb. 14, 2011. (July 5, 2011) http://www.facebook.com/notes/facebook-game-center/list-of-the-10-most-popular-facebook-games/198474696831258
- Facebook. "Information for Developers." (July 7, 2011) https://developers.facebook.com/
- Facebook. "Staying Safe with Apps." (July 5, 2011) http://www.facebook.com/safety/tools/apps/
- Facebook Security page. "Security Quiz." (July 7, 2011) https://www.facebook.com/security
- Gross, Doug. "The Facebook games that millions love (and hate)." CNN. Feb. 23, 2010. (July 7, 2011) http://articles.cnn.com/2010-02-23/tech/facebook.games_1_mark-pincus-video-games-facebook?_s=PM:TECH
- Gross, Doug. "Facebook apps leaked users' information, security firm says." CNN. May 11, 2011. (July 9, 2011) http://articles.cnn.com/2011-05-11/tech/facebook.information.leak_1_facebook-accounts-facebook-platform-facebook-users?_s=PM:TECH
- Worth, Dan. "Facebook flaw exposes private information." Itnews. May 6, 2010 (July 9, 2011) http://www.itnews.com.au/News/173906,facebook-flaw-exposes-private-information.aspx
- Zynga. "About Zynga." (July 7, 2011) http://www.zynga.com/about/index.php