You’ve probably seen it on lots of apps and websites: buttons urging you to sign in with your Google or Facebook account. Sometimes it’s to let you share files, photos or emails. Other times it’s to use Google or Facebook as a quick way to log in somewhere new.
My rule of thumb is to just say no.
There are too many ways using these buttons can leak personal information or help Big Tech track you. There are some exceptions when it’s useful — but you might be surprised, and a little regretful, if you saw how many random sites have access to your Google or Facebook data. (Below, I’ll show you how to check and revoke access.)
What could go wrong? This month, Facebook warned a million Facebook users their accounts might have been compromised by 400 malicious apps that were designed to trick them into handing over their Facebook log-in information. Criminals were making fake log-in buttons.
And I’d like to share a doozy of a cautionary tale: A Washington Post reader wrote to me recently about a Google log-in button on a job portal called iCIMS designed — at least in theory — to help people upload their résumés. Turns out, using it inadvertently grants the site access to your entire collection of digital files.
-------------------------------- We are all visitors to this time, this place. We are just passing through. Our purpose here is to observe, to learn, to grow, to love… and then we return home. - Australian Aboriginal proverb
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