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How to keep your use of creepy apps a secret on Facebook

If you’re checking out this article right now, then it’s safe to assume that you, dear reader, are an active social media user – and you’re not the only one. It’s amazing how much information can be pulled together from your countless profiles on various online outlets – and the fact that you use your Facebook to login and authenticate a variety of different apps makes it easier yet to see what you’re up to. Yes, if you’re hooking up with randoms via BangWithFriends or Tinder, thanks to Facebook’s Graph Search function, your dirty little secret is out in the social media wild, for all your friends, family, and other acquaintances to see.

There are many reasons to tighten up your privacy and account settings on Facebook, and your inclination to use apps you’d rather not go public is a pretty good one. Thankfully, the process of putting your online activities on lockdown is pretty easy.

1. Check out your app settings. On Facebook, go to Privacy settings by clicking on the gear icon on the upper-right corner of your screen. Then click on Apps.

app use lockdown - privacy settings

2. Explore each app’s permission settings by clicking on Edit. Every app, site, or service you’ve ever joined or signed into using your Facebook profile should be listed on this page, and if you’re quick to click on the “sign in using your Facebook account,” it should be a very long list – that’s totally on you. Now’s your chance to clean up house and make sure every app’s permissions aren’t set up in a way that lets the entirety of Facebook know about your shenanigans.

app use lockdown - edit permissions

Clicking on Edit will allow you to control the following things:

  • App behavior: This is usually indicated by the phrase, “post on your behalf.” That means it can broadcast all sorts of activity connected to the app in question, such as videos you’ve watched, songs you’ve listened to, and who knows what else (it really depends on what the app is for). You can easily revoke permissions by clicking the ‘X’ on the right.
  • Visibility of app: This is the most important setting of all concerning your “crap, everyone knows I’m a Tinder troll” problem. Normally, this setting defaults to Public, which is the root of your online embarrassment. If you want to keep it all a secret, change this setting and choose “Only me” from the drop-down menu. Note that this only controls visibility of the app on Facebook – you and all your activity are still exposed on the app itself.

3. Stop signing into things using your Facebook profile. I know doing so is so convenient and it sucks having to remember all the usernames and the passwords, but if you really want to put an end to all the unwarranted exposure on Facebook, then you know what to do. At the very least, just choose ‘Only Me’ when you’re authenticating the app.

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