If you are sitting at home enjoying evening conversations with a few of your closest friends, how upset would you be if a stranger simply unlocked your door, walked in and sat in simply to observe and document specific information gathered from such conversations? “It’s downright criminal,” you would exclaim! Aha! As new-age “techies”, who considers such a thing while using popular social media sites such as Facebook, and the outdated MySpace. Well my friend, this stranger was able to unlock your door and get in simply because you readily provided him with a key…a key you unknowingly created while reducing your security settings. In the world of social media, these “keys” are better known as widgets and apps.
As people who thrive off of being entertained on a regular basis, we find ourselves accepting and downloading all kinds of applications from Facebook and different app stores, such as Fishville, or even the once popular Angry Birds, without hesitation or consideration. Wanting to challenge our friends, we allow such apps to interface with our Friend Lists. At this point we hand these apps keys into our privacy as well as our dear friends and families private worlds.
Can we really be upset at that stranger that invaded our comfort zones by walking in without “being invited”? I say “no”, because we technically did invite this stranger into our home, by giving him a key and the map of how to get there. You, say, “Map! I did not give this stranger a map to my home!” Oh, but you did. With this key, or this allowance of accessibility, you have granted this stranger all-access. Answering basic questions within your entertaining applications mapped out paths to your private world (home) allowing him to use the information obtained as he pleases. Therefore, my friend, the next time you download an app or widget, please be mindful of what it’s asking you to share.