Facebook’s privacy settings can be a little overwhelming. There are many options and if you don’t take the time to learn what they do, you might accidentally isolate yourself from the social network a bit too much. One thing that can be annoying is when people unknowingly block 3rd party Facebook apps from being able to see their status updates and content.
After logging into Facebook on a desktop computer, click the little arrow in the upper right next to “Home”. Then click “Privacy Settings”. Scroll to “Apps and Websites” and click “Edit Settings”. Then scroll to “How people bring your info to apps they use” and click “Edit Settings”. These settings allow your friends who have permission to see your content to continue to see your content on 3rd party applications. The Official Facebook apps are immune to those settings, but if you uncheck everything, you, your updates, photos, and videos will be essentially invisible to your friends who use other programs to interact with Facebook. If you want your friends to see your content, just turn those checkboxes on.
Granted it is a potential privacy risk if some of your friends decide to use un-trustworthy apps or accidentally log-into a malicious Facebook app. In those cases some of your info could get scooped up unintentionally. So if you don’t trust your friends to keep their Facebook passwords out of the hands of the bad guys, you may want to leave some things unchecked.
Still there are a lot of great 3rd party Facebook apps out there that rely on your decision to allow the sharing of your content with your friends. Many of our readers are familiar with this problem when using the integrated Facebook features in Windows Phone 7. Other great social networking integration apps such as TweetDeck, Hootsuite, Seesmic, Live Messenger, Trillian and many others are also affected by the setting.
If you use 3rd party Facebook apps or know some one who may be blocking their 3rd party apps, please feel free to pass this post along to make sure everyone knows that while those settings may block malware from getting to read your status updates, they may also be blocking very cool, legitimate applications from seeing your content as well.