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Watch out for those apps!!

People tell The Legal Genealogist that Facebook is now where the old folks hang out.

Okay by me since, first of all, I’m a genealogist — it’s the old folks I’m most interested in; secondly, I myself have always had an “auld soul”; thirdly, some old lady has taken over my mirror and won’t ever step aside for the youthful person I am, so I’m coming to terms with living with her; and fourthly, it’s the old folks in my life that I treasure the most.

And besides — Facebook is fun. All those cool apps that tell us what animal we’d be, or what our color preferences mean, or the new one I’ve seen the past couple of days on the first photo we ever posted to Facebook.

And it’s because we all do tend to hang out on Facebook, and because those apps are fun, that today’s post has to be a public service announcement — because we all need to be a little careful at times not to simply click through on those apps without stopping to read what they tell us.

Let’s use that new one — What Was The First Photo You Uploaded to FB? Did you click on that one? If you did, this is the screen that popped up first — the screen we all tend to click right past to get to the fun stuff:


Read that again. Carefully.

If we click through on that screen, some outfit called NameGuess gets our public profile (everything we’ve said about ourselves, like our education, or marital status, or home town), our email address, our Timeline posts and our photos.

Do we really want NameGuess to have that?

Do we even know who NameGuess is, or what NameGuess will do with that information?

Do we really want to give up that much information just to see what the first photo was that we ever posted on Facebook?

I sure don’t. I’ll bet you don’t, either.

Now if we click on that “Edit the info you provide” link, we can limit what the app gets — but we need to be very very careful in giving any app access to any part of our information.

Because we don’t know who NameGuess (or any app developer) is, or what NameGuess (or any app developer) will do with that information.

So we need to carefully read the warnings before we click through on some cute app from some outfit we don’t know.

Oh, and that other new one, the one from Facebook itself on “Your Year In Review”? That one’s just fine — go right ahead and click through to your heart’s content. You’re not giving up anything you haven’t already given up. So have fun.

After all, that’s what Facebook is for — not handing over tons of personal info to some app developer who doesn’t tell us what it’s going to do with it.

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