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Privacy Settings Not Protecting Facebook App Users

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PHILADELPHIA (CBS) – Somewhere in the digital landscape of the internet is your personal information, whether it is on there through a credit card order or a Facebook account. And it is up to you to keep it safe. But experts warn it is getting harder.

“If you’re not careful about your security settings, and if you’re not on a computer that’s well patched, you’re susceptible to all the viruses that are out there on Facebook and everything else,” warned Scott DeGirolamo, owner of Computer Guy PC Solutions, a company that helps people with software and hardware problems.

The latest information leak comes from Facebook apps, programs on the popular social networking site like FarmVille, which users can install on their Facebook page. Although Facebook promises to keep your information private, the third party apps were able to take that information and share it with marketers.

“Those companies could be taking your information and your friend’s names as well without your authorization,” said Natali Del Conte of CNET.

Facebook said the leak of user ids was not intentional. They released a statement downplaying the problem, saying “Knowledge of a UID (User ID) does not enable anyone to access private user information without explicit user consent. Nevertheless, we are committed to ensuring that even the inadvertent passing of UIDs is prevented and all applications are in compliance with our policy.”

The growing popularity of social networking sites like Facebook makes it even easier for companies to get user information, because there is so much more of it out there. The most popular Facebook app, Farmville, has nearly 60 million users.

“What the bad guys do is they look and they see what was fixed – what was recently released, what patches were released – then they write exploits for those patches for people that haven’t applied the security update yet,” said DeGirolamo.

Virus programs can keep your computer protected against the latest cyber attacks and threats, but experts say your best weapon to protect your privacy and your information is common sense.

3 On Your Side has more information for you on cyber security and tips for keeping your information private CLICK HERE.

Reported By Oren Liebermann, CBS 3

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