At a time when PRISM and the NSA leak are still trying to cause a few ripples across the country and elsewhere, it's time to review the security of all the information you've got online. It's not surprising to note that people can find out a ton of stuff about you through your social accounts on Facebook, Twitter and even Google Plus.
But the real threat comes from apps that have access to your social accounts. We routinely login to several apps and web service via our social accounts. Facebook and Twitter are often used to login to several apps across the web, on desktops and smartphones.
For instance, I have my Tumblr accessing my Twitter profile. So does Medium, the new web publishing service. Also, several apps have access to my Facebook account. Feedly has access to my Google+ profile. So in essence, there's a ton of apps accessing my social profile. What data do they have access to? Is it serious data that should actually be protected? Are the apps doing something that I should know of?
Managing apps and security permissions is tough. Not only that, it's complicated too. But an app for the iPhone, called MyPermissions.
This app is an online privacy shield. There are two things it does perfectly:
- It lets you configure, control and edit the settings for apps on Facebook/Twitter and others easily.
- It monitors new apps accessing your data and warns you if any app accesses specific personal data from your social profile.
The app is very simple to setup and use. What I really liked about the app was that it let me configure permissions for apps (and remove many of them) very easily.
Here's how MyPermissions iPhone App works:
- Once you install and run the app, you get this screen where you select the services / social profiles you want to monitor. You can add more later too so don't be very specific about this now.
- Next up, tap on a service to authenticate MyPermissions to access data from that particular profile. The app will only access the information about what apps are using the social profile.
- The app will automatically scan all the data about the app and what it is accessing. Once done, it will show you how many apps are accessing your personal information. You can manage things from here.
- Additionally, you can also add other services and Manage them via the app.
- Next time you let an app/web service access your social profile details, MyPermissions will notify you.
As you can see, it is a really simplified way of managing things on your social profile.
I don't know how it actually figures out these things but this is actually ironic: once you give access to an app, it can access quite a lot of stuff from your social profile. And MyPermissions proves it although in a safe way.