Almost every service we use nowadays requires us to give it permissions. Whether it be allowing Instagram to post to our Facebook feeds or allowing applications to post on our Twitter pages, everything requires permissions and, more often than not, we forget to keep them in check.
Lifehacker.com, a site we frequently cite for good how-to's, has a really sharp couple of posts that cover the two of the biggest permissions hogs: Facebook and Twitter. Their Spring Cleaning series offers more than just how to clean up your permissions, so we recommend heading over there to check for useful tips and tricks every so often.
What's the big deal?
Usually when an app asks for your permissions on Facebook its usually just to post on your wall when you've done something on their site or app. Ever been invited to play Candy Crush? That's the app using its permissions on your friends' page to market itself to you.
Beyond saving your friends and family those annoying messages, if an application maker ever sells itself or is otherwise compromised, the permissions you gave it originally are still valid. So perhaps you gave a small program or website permission to post on your wall and they get hacked, suddenly all of your friends and family are getting posts from you with links to websites that are filled with spyware. Or a program that has access to your address book gets hacked and suddenly all your contacts' inboxes are being filled with spam. There's nothing more valuable to an unscrupulous personal or company than valid email contact information.
What can I do?
Besides being generally careful with who and what you give permission to, take a gander at the following two articles and audit your permissions! If you don't recognize something, revoke its permission. The worst that'll happen is you will have to re-authorize it, and at least then you'll know what it is!