I am ALL about convenience. I look for every opportunity I can to save time and make my life easier. Amazon Prime HAS to know me by name because my delivery guy sure does (Chris is great by the way).
However, I am also very concerned with privacy and data security. In today’s world of “one-click access,” it is SO easy to swipe your finger, tap a button, and share personal information. It is so easy that you might not even realize what you are sharing. Let’s be honest… have you ever REALLY read the T&Cs of those apps/updates or do you just scroll to the bottom and click accept?
While I LOVE the idea of having all the apps I use talk to each other and sync data, I know that it comes with a price…potential security hacks and leaks. So, sometimes I choose to forego the convenience of automation and speed to keep my information safe.
Every time you share information or access one application with another app’s log-in, it is like giving your house key to a complete stranger. Think about that. You may have given your neighbor, a neighbor you know and trust, a key to your house. Would you feel comfortable if your neighbor gave that key to someone THEY knew well but you did not? I certainly would not.
Here are the 3 most common scenarios you should consider when sharing log-in information for one application with another:
1. Using your Facebook login for ANY OTHER app.
It seems like almost every app and/or software these days has the option to sign in with Facebook in HUGE print and then much smaller at the bottom you have the option to create an account. I ALWAYS create an account with my email address and unique password. The ONLY exception I make for this are the tools I use to manage my social media accounts such as Cinchshare, SmartHash, Buffer, etc. EVERY time you log into an app with your Facebook login, you are sharing data with Facebook…and Facebook can share data back.
2. Logging into one system from another unrelated system.
Let’s say you are using a software system to track your business expenses. The system is protected with your username and password. Then, you find a GREAT app that will save you time by importing all of your expenses and categorizing them for you. So, you create an account with the new app and once you do, you are asked to “log in” to your expense system so they can import your expenses. Guess what? That NEW app now has access to EVERYTHING in your account. If you have a credit card on file…they will know it. If you have personal information OR information about customers, that new app can access that, too. You just handed them your login information.
In this world of technology, the more you use it and store information, the more careful you need to be. The next time you are prompted to share your login information with a new application, ask yourself if it is worth the potential risk.