Clean Up Your Permissions!

by on March 7, 2012 · 30 comments

As we hop around the web, visiting sites, we’re often asked for permission to access our Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn and other accounts. If you play a game on Facebook, such as Words with Friends or Farmville, or use apps such as Birthday Calendar or My World Friends Map, you’ve granted permission to access your Facebook account.

When you use apps on your smartphone or tablet that post to Twitter or Facebook, you give permission to those apps to access your accounts. When you sign in to a website using your Google, Yahoo, Facebook or Twitter accounts you’re granting that website permission to access these accounts.

There may be absolutely nothing wrong with granting permission to these websites and apps, but if you’re not using them anymore then you should delete these permissions. No need to allow anyone else access to your accounts if it no longer benefits you.

Every so often I go into Facebook and Twitter to make sure I don’t have any apps accessing my accounts that don’t need to. But instead of going into these sites individually, you can now use a handy website with links to clean up permissions at many sites.

The site mypermissions.org has links to

  • Facebook
  • Twitter
  • LinkedIn
  • Google
  • Yahoo
  • Dropbox
  • Flickr
  • Instagram
  • AOL
  • Foursquare
  • Windows Live
  • Familio

Clicking on the icon at the site takes you straight to the permissions page so you can delete any permissions you don’t need any more.

If your children have Facebook accounts, you should use this site with them. Your children may have granted access to dozens of apps.

Deleting unnecessary permissions won’t take you very long using this handy site. Make sure to do this regularly so unwanted permissions don’t start accumulating again.

Do you clear out your permissions regularly? Were you surprised by how many sites had access to your accounts? Let us know in the Comments section below!

Clean Sweep image by Ha! Designs

Comments on this entry are closed.

Harleena Singh
Twitter:
March 7, 2012 at 8:12 am

News for me again Carolyn!

While I did know that all these social media sites do seek permission to access your account, and more than half the time I don’t really go in for them as I later tend to forget to delete them- I never knew that mypermissions.org does the needful for you!

That sounds wonderful indeed, to have a site who works to remove the not required permissions from your networks- some thing sure to check out.

Thanks for sharing yet another wonderful site link with all of us! You do amaze us with such wonderful links and information shared.

BTW- Loved the image of ‘Clean Sweep’ or the broom girl :-)
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Carolyn Nicander Mohr March 7, 2012 at 6:15 pm

Hi Harleena, Yes, I would go into my accounts every so often and clean up my permissions, but my efforts were scattershot. I would only do it when I thought about it and wouldn’t get to all of them before I was pulled away by a different task. This makes the process streamlined, easy and quick.

I love that photo too. She is just too cute, from the olden days before you could clean up your permissions so easily! ;-)
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Jens P. Berget
Twitter:
March 7, 2012 at 9:25 am

Wow Carolyn, this is one of the best tips I’ve seen in a very long time. I have added permissions to so many sites and apps, and I usually forget about which ones, now you’ve not only reminded me to do something about it, but you’ve added a very interesting service as well. I’ll sign up right away :-)

Thanks a lot.
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Carolyn Nicander Mohr March 7, 2012 at 6:19 pm

Hi Jens, Thanks, I’m glad you find this useful. I think anyone with a computer connected to the Internet should use this site. It’s such a handy way to check your permissions and delete the ones you don’t need anymore.

I don’t know anyone who wants to spend a lot of time on cleaning up his permissions. This is one-stop shopping. Get it done quickly and efficiently. :-)
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Bill Dorman
Twitter:
March 7, 2012 at 12:43 pm

I will have to check this out; I’m about half and half on what I grant permission to. In Facebook if it’s games or birthdays or stuff like that I usually do not just because I don’t know the full ramifications. It might make me look like a green booger or something, and we certainly wouldn’t want that now, would we?
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Carolyn Nicander Mohr March 7, 2012 at 6:22 pm

Hi Bill, I think people will be surprised at how many permissions they didn’t even know about.

I agree with you, it’s important to consider carefully which permissions you need. But sometimes the ones you needed a while ago, you don’t need today. Best to tidy them up! :-)
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Ilka Flood March 7, 2012 at 1:51 pm

Hi Carolyn,

Great advice! I have cleaned out some of my permissions before, but we all get so busy that we kind of forget about it. Therefore I am extremely thankful for the reminder. I will put this on my “To Do” list for today.

I so appreciate you sharing this, thanks!

Ilka
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Carolyn Nicander Mohr March 7, 2012 at 6:32 pm

Hi Ilka, How nice to see you back over here at The Wonder of Tech. :-) Yes, this burdensome task becomes quite easy when you use this site. What could take you hours just takes a few minutes. I’m so glad you’re doing this today!
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pianottavo March 7, 2012 at 3:06 pm

nice photo :-)

Carolyn Nicander Mohr March 7, 2012 at 6:00 pm

Hi Piannottavo, Welcome to The Wonder of Tech! So glad you enjoyed the photo! :-)

Praveen Rajarao
Twitter:
March 7, 2012 at 5:08 pm

Very nice Carolyn, i am sure this will be handy to clean out unwanted access permissions that we might have given to these apps. Thanks a lot for bringing this out in the open so that we can be careful in future and also clean up our own mess.
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Carolyn Nicander Mohr March 7, 2012 at 6:34 pm

Hi Praveen, You’re exactly correct. This is about the easiest way I can think of to clean up your permissions. I think people will be very surprised at how many apps have access to their accounts!
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Janet Callaway
Twitter:
March 7, 2012 at 10:57 pm

Carolyn, aloha. WOW! What a great tip. Thanks so much. While I do periodically go in and clean up my permissions, I am not “periodic” as often as would be good.

The first time I went into clean up my permissions I was positively stunned by the numbers of apps/sites that had access. As a result, I now do not even grant permission as easily as I did before.

Best wishes for a terrific rest of the week. Aloha. Janet

Carolyn Nicander Mohr March 8, 2012 at 7:46 am

Hi Janet, I was the same way, stunned the first time I saw how many apps had access to my accounts. I became diligent about cleaning out my permissions, but this site makes it so much easier that I will be able to stay on top of it better.

Thanks for stopping by, Janet! :-)

farouk March 8, 2012 at 2:56 am

that was useful
thank you :-)

Carolyn Nicander Mohr March 8, 2012 at 7:44 am

Hi Farouk, I’m very glad you found this useful. No need to have more apps with access to your account than you want.

Sudhasap March 8, 2012 at 6:44 am

This post has a lot of importance to the people…I hope you can continue to inspire and post more of this…Thanks!

Carolyn Nicander Mohr March 8, 2012 at 7:43 am

Hi Sudhasap, Welcome to The Wonder of Tech! You’re right, this is very important for people to know. The easier it is to clean out your permissions, the more people will do it.

Andrew March 8, 2012 at 7:09 am

To be honest i didn’t even know this was going on, i will be sure to go check it out thanks for the interesting post.

Carolyn Nicander Mohr March 8, 2012 at 7:41 am

Hi Andrew, You’re not alone. Many people don’t realize they need to tend to their permissions. Even if they do, they don’t take the time to check their permissions because it was difficult and time-consuming. This site makes it very easy to stay on top of your permissions.

Hajra
Twitter:
March 10, 2012 at 2:13 pm

I had given permissions to way too many application on twitter and yes, that was the reasons behind my twitter account being hacked one day. I had to clean up too many permissions.

As for facebook, I see way too many people not keeping a check on their permissions because a lot of times a lot of illogical links and spammy links and photos posted. But yes, you did remind me to clean up a lot of permissions! Thanks!

Carolyn Nicander Mohr March 12, 2012 at 7:02 pm

Hi Hajra, I remember when your Twitter account was hacked. Unfortunately, I see that hack happening quite a bit. I’m glad you found this site helpful, Hajra. I like that you don’t have to give this site permission to clean up your other permissions.

Gera March 10, 2012 at 10:44 pm

Hi Carolyn!,

From time to time, I use this cleaning tool mypermissions and it’s shocking to find odd cases, especially from twitter. You see hacked accounts sending DMs and I bet the problem started in that way.

Also it’s scary to give permission not to social sites,if not to your Google account – you can lose eventually, directly your email address more sensible data.

Cheers,

Gera

Carolyn Nicander Mohr March 12, 2012 at 6:59 pm

Hi Gera, Welcome to The Wonder of Tech! You’re right, when you give an app a permission to access your account, you’re giving a whole lot of power to that app. By cleaning up your permissions, you rescind that power. It’s important to do that when you’re not using apps any longer.

Thomas
Twitter:
March 11, 2012 at 6:42 am

Hi Carolyn
That is a great tip. It can really be a struggle to keep up with all those accounts and permissions. I was not aware of that service until now.
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Carolyn Nicander Mohr March 12, 2012 at 6:53 pm

Hi Thomas, I think you’ll find this site very useful. The first time you use it and see how easy it is to clean up your permissions, you will be more likely to keep on top of them. :-)

Dee Ankary March 11, 2012 at 11:18 am

Carolyn,

Thanks for sharing info about this site, and your pointer to review the kids’ permissions as well. The lure of all these websites inviting you to “Sign in with your Twitter / Google / Facebook account”, and before you know it, you’ve given away the keys to the castle.

It’s gone onto the to-do for this week!

Dee
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Carolyn Nicander Mohr March 12, 2012 at 6:50 pm

Hi Dee, Welcome to The Wonder of Tech! You’re right, this task should be on everyone’s to-do list, but this site will make it much easier to cross this off of your list!

Miki March 14, 2012 at 10:42 pm

I had given permissions to way too many application on twitter and yes, that was the reasons behind my twitter account being hacked one day. I had to clean up too many permissions.

Carolyn Nicander Mohr March 15, 2012 at 5:40 am

Hi Miki, Welcome to The Wonder of Tech! You’re absolutely right, it’s important not to have too many permissions on your accounts. I’m glad you were able to clean them up! :-)

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