Facebook Security Best Practices

Rogue Applications

What are rogue applications?

Rogue applications are rife on Facebook. They use social engineering tricks to fool you into giving them permission to access your Facebook profile and the ability to post a link to a rogue application to your page.

Online scammers use rogue Facebook applications to drive traffic to revenue-generating survey scams.

How do survey scams work?

A typical scam works like this:

You see a Facebook message from a friend that promises to show you, say, a shocking picture or video of a Hollywood star.

Facebook Rogue Applicaion

If you click on the link, you will be taken to the application's Permissions page. This is where Facebook asks you whether you want to allow this application to access your profile.

Facebook Rogue Application

If you click "Allow", you will briefly be flashed a video, but overlaid will be a survey that you need to complete before you are allowed to see the video.

Facebook Rogue Application

At the same time, the rogue application will post the message on your Facebook page to share itself with all your Facebook friends and family. Your friends are then encouraged to click on the link and share it with their friends, and so on. This dramatically increases the number of people who ultimately take the online survey.

Surveys like this not only scoop up your personal information, but also earn commission for the scammers. In the worst cases, the survey asks you for your phone number and sign you up for expensive premium rate services. It's time that Facebook users got wise to this trick, and refuse to play ball.

What if I've been infected?

If you've been hit by a scam like this, you should remove references to it from your News Feed, revoke the right of rogue applications to access your profile through "Account/Privacy Settings/Applications and Websites" and edit your profile to remove any unauthorized pages from your Likes and Interests.

If that sounds complicated, why not watch our video on how to clean up after a rogue application has tricked its way onto your Facebook profile.

Watch How to clean up your Facebook profile

Watch now

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