I’m a longtime (over 3 years) user of Facebook and have become hardened to their ever changing designs and privacy policies. I know to be on my toes and continuously scrutinize my privacy settings to have as much control as I want over my data. As I watch the more people joining Facebook, I wonder just how careful they will be with giving their data to applications, rogue or otherwise. Add the relative unsavvy-ness of the older generation and you have a feast of data for bad guys to dine on.
That said, I was pinged several weeks ago about a Facebook app by BitDefender called “BitDefender Safego” and at the time, I wasn’t sure I was their intended target because I largely avoid attempts at social engineering me into clicking malicious links or enabling malicious apps to have access to my data or my friends’. I finally activated the BitDefender Safego app and this is a summary of the process:
- Activating the Safego app means going to this link: http://apps.facebook.com/bd-safego/
- When installing the app, you will be asked to grant the app a bunch of permissions. Only 2 of those permissions are required for the BitDefender Safego app to function and they are to:
- Allow the Safego app to send you email
- Allow the Safego app to access your Facebook basic information like name, profile picture, gender, networks, user ID, list of friends and other info you’ve shared with everyone.
You’ll probably be asked to share your latest app find with friends, but I always like to keep my ‘noise’ level down.
- After activating the BitDefender Safego app, you’ll be presented with a shiny Dashboard where the Safego app presents an overview of issues that may require your attention, notices of infection on your wall or inbox. This is what it looks like:
If you’re lucky, your dashboard will remain squeaky clean as mine was for several weeks until when a hapless Facebook acquaintance posted some spam-driven links to my wall. However, I didn’t get to see those malicious links because BitDefender Safego ‘quarantined’ the link from posting to my wall. This was GREAT because it’s one less task I have to do especially when said acquaintance continuously spams your wall.
However, what was NOT so great was the implication of turning ON the “Publish to Wall” setting in the Safego dashboard. This means that with every detection of a spam link or infected content, you will get a notice posted to your Facebook wall by the BitDefender Safego app. In my case, I got over 5 notifications from the Safego app about one or several malicious links that were detected. Here’s what my wall looked like after several attempts by a compromised Facebook account to post to my wall:
I promptly turned off the “Publish to Wall” setting for now although my Weekly Stats will still get published to my wall (for now also).
In summary: The BitDefender Safego facebook app is a Set It and Forget It application which proved its usefulness by blocking a malicious link from being posted to my wall. I can’t count how many times I’ve seen friends’ walls overrun by compromised Facebook accounts posting spam links. Don’t let this happen to you: Get BitDefender Safego to save yourself some time. 🙂