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DO NOT take that Facebook quiz!

Nov - 28 - 2015

You have seen it on your Facebook newsfeed and you are so tempted to click on it!  You think, “all my friends are doing it, so I think I should, too!”  But before you click on that link and take that quiz, you might want to twink twice.  And if you’ve already taken it (like someone else I know), keep reading to learn about what you should do.

The quiz “Your Most Used Words on Facebook” is hitting everyone’s newsfeeds.  This quiz scans your Facebook posts and creates a word cloud from all the words you use most from your account.  But, this quiz could go beyond just your name, words, and a few details about your life.  It now has access to your birthday, hometown, education, and work details.  It takes up everything you’ve liked and browsed and now has access to your photos.  It also stores your IP address.

That is a lot of information for just a simple little word quiz on Facebook.  The thing is most people will even take the quiz after agreeing to the long list of terms!  After agreeing, the app prompts a page that asks you to authorize its connection with your Facebook account.

We see those pop-ups all the time, though. So it’s easy to assume that it’s just another request, and it’s probably fine. But this should make you take another look, and be more cautious.

What’s particularly frightening about this Facebook quiz is the Privacy Policy associated with the app. You know, those lengthy contracts that nobody reads? The company behind the quiz,, has snuck a little nugget in there that everyone should know.

The policy states that anyone who logs in using Facebook is authorizing the app to continue using their information even after they’ve terminated their account. Even more, users who agree to the terms are authorizing the app to store their information on servers around the globe. Some of which are located in countries where privacy laws don’t exist.

Of course, the agreement states it would never share your personal information with a third party without telling you first. However, it also says in the agreement that by clicking “OK” you’re stating you’ve been told.

The CEO of Vonvon has spoken out and clarified that it doesn’t actually pull any of your personal information out of Facebook or sell any of it. It only uses the bare minimum it needs to create the word cloud. However, it’s a good reminder that the company could have if it wanted, and some other company in the future might.

Here is what to do if you have already taken the quiz

If you already took the quiz and granted permissions for the app to access your Facebook account, you cannot take back whatever information it already collected. However, you can keep it from scooping up more of your information in the future.

You’ll need to unlink the app from your Facebook account. To unlink an app or game from Facebook, follow these steps:

  1. Click the arrow in the upper-right corner of your Facebook page and select Settings
  2. Click Apps in the left menu
  3. Hover over the app or game you’d like to remove and click X. This app could be identified as “Vonvon” or “Your Most Used Words on Facebook.”

You should also review what other apps you’ve given access to in the past and what permissions they have.  Might be a good time to start clearing them out.  Sorry, Mafia Wars.

One Response so far.

  1. John says:

    Wow! Great article! I will think twice about clicking on those links in Facebook. Thank you!

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