Security expert warns Facebook users to remove home address and mobile phone number from profile

By on Jan 17, 2011 in Internet, Software, Technology Comments

Updated January 19, 2011 2:14 a.m.

Read Facebook removes developer access to user addresses and phone number

A noted security expert now warns Facebook users to remove their home address and mobile phone number from their profile to avoid a potential identity theft, after a Facebook app was released this weekend apparently allowing software developers to access them.

On Saturday, an announcement was made via the Facebook blog stating that a user’s home address and mobile phone number are now accessible by third party application developers.

As shown below, a permission will be send to users to allow the app to access their home address and mobile phone number from their profile but not including their friends’ home address and mobile phone number.

With that, Sophos security expert Graham Cluley warns all Facebook users to delete their home address and mobile phone number from their profile, not only to avoid identity theft but also to avoid SMS spam messages selling different undesired products.

“The ability to access users’ home addresses will also open up more opportunities for identity theft, combined with the other data that can already be extracted from Facebook users’ profiles.” Cluley warns.

“You can imagine, for instance, that bad guys could set up a rogue app that collects mobile phone numbers and then uses that information for the purposes of SMS spamming or sells on the data to cold-calling companies.” He added.

On the other hand, other observers believe that a user’s home address and mobile phone number should not be posted on his profile at all.

fbwarning
Facebook app request for permission
Photo credit: Facebook blog


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