Oversharing: It's become standard operating procedure in our social-media-obsessed world. Still, there's a difference between Facebooking embarrassing party photos or tweeting about your celebrity crush, and actually releasing critical private information to the Internet at large.
Knowing your social media privacy settings can certainly keep your data safer, but a number of apps and services can help out, too.
Today we look at two types of social-networking security apps. The first type can alert you and your friends to malicious posts, comments, links, and other exploits that are used to spread viruses, phishing scams, and malware. The second type is designed for keeping tabs on your children: These tools can alert you to any potentially dangerous communication or content on your child's Facebook page (such as material containing violence, sex, drug use, and inappropriate language), and other things such as questionable friends (or possible predators).
Bitdefender Safego is a free antiscam service for Facebook and Twitter. The Facebook app automatically scans items posted to your wall or Timeline, status updates, and messages. It will also scan your friends updates and comments for spam, scams, phishing attempts, malware, and other malicious activity. Its Privacy feature will tell you what sorts of things you may be unknowingly sharing publicly, and will warn you of possible privacy issues.
Here's how it works. Once you authorize the Bitdefender Safego app to access your Facebook account, it will start to monitor the account. When it finds malicious activity or a privacy issue, the app will comment on the malicious post or notify you via the Facebook notifications feed.
You can also set it to publish a weekly summary of the detection statistics on your wall and/or publish warning comments to posts that it finds malicious.
MyPageKeeper is a free Facebook antiscam app from StopTheHacker and researchers at the University of California, Riverside. Currently in public beta, MyPageKeeper monitors all items posted on your profile and news feed, and notifies you of malicious posts, much as Bitdefender Safego does.
Also like Safego, if MyPageKeeper finds something malicious or something that presents a privacy risk, the app will comment on the post or send you an email notification.
You can go to this app's Facebook app page and click the Settings link to change the settings; from there, you can turn the automatic commenting on malicious posts on or off. You can also turn on more aggressive notifications; this provides better protection, but may also result in a few false alarms, according to MyPageKeeper's creators.
SocialShield, from security software firm Avira, is a free monitoring service that lets you keep an eye on your childs Facebook, Twitter, MySpace, Google+, and FormSpring accounts. SocialShield analyzes the kid's public and private posts, messages, photos, friends, and other content to alert you to any dangerous activity. It searches for inappropriate content such as profanity, sexual terms, and discussion of drinking or drugs.
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