Facebook is the largest social network in the world, currently boasting over 1.3 billion users. There are also over 9 million applications integrated into the Facebook platform. This has resulted in huge increase in spyware, malware and other security threats that are being spread via Facebook applications. While Facebook security has improved in recent years, there are still a high number of malware applications that are able to slip through the security barriers and reach end-users. This can lead to serious data breaches including data theft, account compromising and more.
How Facebook security affects application developers
Facebook has a specific app, called the Facebook Developer App, which provides developers with many different security settings which can be used to safeguard and secure their apps. The Facebook Developer App has a “Sandbox” option, which allows developers to test applications in a secure environment before the apps are released to other Facebook users. Malware and other threats can be remediated before the app is published to the Facebook audience. The Facebook Developer App also allows developers to create a list of specific users and IP addresses that are allowed to make changes to the app, which prevents the app from getting compromised by malware or malicious attackers. Every time the app is modified maliciously, Facebook immediately sends out alerts to developers to make them aware of the unauthorized revisions. Additional tools the Facebook Developer App provides include bad link detection/blocking, anti-malware scanners and more.
How Facebook security affects Facebook users
One of the first actions Facebook users should take is to review their settings and make changes according to their needs. Facebook implements default security presets for users, which often need to be changed. Under the Facebook settings, users should navigate to app settings. Any apps that are not being used should be deleted, as these dormant apps may compromise the user’s security if exploited. Any apps that users don’t remember installing should be removed. Users can also use the Facebook app security settings to configure how their personal information is used. Facebook users should opt out of settings that allow their information to be shared with apps, ads, external sites and internet searches. Even if users do agree to some of this sharing, they should specifically opt out of any app settings that attempt to access the user’s home phone number or street address.