A new website eases the burden of figuring out what permissions you've given up in your Facebook, Twitter or Flickr accounts, and helps you revoke any you feel might be too invasive or could land you and your online data in danger.
If you have accounts with any of the above three, or with Google, Yahoo, LinkedIn, Dropbox or Instagram, MyPermissions.org will tell you which permissions you've granted to the various apps that run on each service. It's a simple site, but an important one given the problems that arise when apps (often malicious ones) have unfettered access to private information on your computer or mobile device.
The 141 user comments on the site highlight its necessity. "This is great! Thanks so much! I didn't realize how much stuff I was linked to!" Dallas Toya wrote.
Toby Bisco wrote, "Really useful. Thanks. Some of the apps that still had acess to my info I haven't used in years!"
"Nice and simple for the technophobic of us," Kobi Lerner said.
The site does not automatically revoke apps' access; rather, it cuts through the tangled web many users end up in when trying to identify and revoke the privileges they've granted on each service.
After you click on the service icon in MyPermissions, the site provides you with a link to revoke the access you've granted on that site, eliminating the hassle of navigating through the privacy settings on a service like Facebook, which is notoriously difficult to keep abreast of.
MyPermissions, started by Israel-based entrepreneur Avi Charkham, also offers a monthly email reminder service that prompts users to check their permissions.
With so many sites requesting so many different permissions, it's important to keep your defenses up when choosing to install service-based apps. Make sure you examine the permissions, and if any ask for access to personal information you don't feel comfortable granting, don't install them.