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In addition to public information, third-party applications may access some private information.

A user may grant a third-party application access to his or her profile without realizing the extent of the permissions being granted.

Users may also mistakenly assume that third-party applications are held to the same standards as the primary social network There are also “rogue” applications which do not follow the policies and terms that govern applications.

(See Consumer Reports' Apps that bite)Some facts to keep in mind when considering using third-party applications: In some instances, once they have received permission from a primary user, the third-party applications may also gain access to the personal information of users’ contacts without those contacts granting explicit permission.

The degree to which these sites cooperate, or don’t cooperate, with law enforcement may not be fully explained in the privacy policy.

If you are one of the hundreds of millions of people using social networks, there’s a good chance that you are linked to them through an online relationship. Online social networks are websites that allow users to build connections and relationships to other Internet users.

As a general rule, use caution when using third-party applications.

Remember that it is difficult to control what information they are gathering, how they might use it, and who they will share it with.

Companies that operate social networks are themselves collecting a variety of data about their users, both to personalize the services for the users and to sell to advertisers.

This fact sheet will provide information about the advantages and disadvantages of using social networks, what kind of information may be safe to post and how to protect it, as well as who is able to access different types of information posted to these networks.

Social networks themselves do not necessarily guarantee the security of the information that has been uploaded to a profile, even when those posts are set to be private.

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