Beware of - Which indian celebrity do you look like?

May 08, 2017

For last 3 odd days my Facebook Wall is flooded with post that looks something like above where almost every single friend of mine has posted “Which celebrity he looked like”.

Initially I was not inclined to try this and for me all such things are mumbo jumbo. But then as this ritual was growing and was getting accepted at a huge pace, I thought, “Why Not?”; and I gave it a shot.

When I clicked on the link I was redirected to the page full of advertisements; and then I clicked the link that asked me to “Login via Facebook”. It redirected me to an “OAuth Dialog” and asked me for some permission. The set of permissions it asked me were insane.

I wondered “Why an app like this needs to access my “Timeline post’?”. Hence instead of clicking “Continue” but I clicked “Edit this” and edited the set of information that Facebook should share with this app about me.

Why did I do this?

The application that asks you to login via Facebook, can ask any kind of information from Facebook about you. But Facebook before giving away all information asked to that app, first consults you and asks for your permission, and gives you a chance to edit it. Most of the users do not bother to edit it; and because of which sites like Cat Fly Quizzes gets all of your information, with your consent.

What might happen when such app gets my information

Such app/websites may:

  • Sell this data to some fraudulent entity which engages in sending spams or scams.
  • Create fake profiles on different platforms and use it for illegal activities.
  • Misuse your photos and data to blackmail someone.

There are tonnes of scarier scenarios but I am avoiding writing it. Just remember nothing on Internet you share is safe. Don’t trust something just because your friend trusts it.

Can I revoke the permission that I granted?

YES. A big YES!

You can revoke the permission that you granted to an app by going to your “Settings” in your Facebook account. Here is a small video I made that would guide you to revoke the permission.

Revoking the permission will prevent such apps from getting your data again.

Things you should always remember

  1. Whenever you login via Facebook or Google or any such site, please read the list of information that it will share with the app on your behalf.
  2. If you dont want to share some or all of the information, you can change it from the OAuth dialog.
  3. If you have already granted some app the permissions, you can anytime revoke them.

It is a dangerous world out there on the internet, stay safe!