What if you want to delete Facebook applications, stop Twitter authentication, or revoke access to your Google account? Facebook, Twitter, and Google/Google+ all provide the ability to use their services to log into other applications. The same system is used to allow games, 3rd party clients, and more access to your account information on the social networks.
The ability to use your Facebook, Twitter, and Google accounts to sign into other sites is a huge time saver on the web. You’re no longer required to create an account on every website you want to use. Facebook Connect, Google Accounts, and Twitter also provide centralized locations to revoke access to those sites if you decide you no longer wish to use them. The authentication systems they provide also give you the ability to use 3rd party services, games, and more provided you first authorize them to access your data. Unfortunately, their widespread use also means that people tend to over-use them, and gloss over what data they are exposing as if they were reading an EULA (and let’s face it, most of us glaze over in the eye and accept them without giving it a second thought).
Fortunately, each of these services allow you to see all authorized third party tools and services, and provide the options to revoke permissions to services, games, and applications that you no longer use.
Remove Facebook applications
Facebook, the 800 lbs gorilla of social networking by far has the most user with it’s Facebook Connect, Facebook application, and Facebook Games. Before you know it you’ll have a ton of sites, games, and Facebook applications using your Facebook login. It’s simple to view what permissions are being granted, delete a Facebook game, or remove a Facebook application access to your Facebook content to a website once you know where to look.
To remove a Facebook application login to the site go to your Facebook Settings, which is accessible by the dropdown arrow on the top right and selecting Apps on the right hand side. You’ll be presented with a list of applications that currently have access to your Facebook data. Surprised how many are in there? Most people are! This screen will show you which 3rd party sites can access your information, send you emails, post as you on Facebook, and more. Now that you know it’s here you can delete a Facebook app easily. To remove an application you can click the “x” on the far right hand side.
Revoke Access to Twitter
Twitter holds less personal information on us so it seems people are very comfortable using Twitter Connect to login to sites. The people I’ve talked to are also pretty liberal with the number of applications they let authorize Twitter.
You can view the applications that have access to your Twitter account by visiting the Applications tab of your account settings. It’s accessible by clicking the dropdown arrow next to your Twitter name in the top right corner of the site.
On this page you’ll see a list of the applications with permission to your Twitter account. Under each application is a list of the permissions that application has to your Twitter data (typically read and write, but some applications will also have additional abilities like sending Direct Messages). To revoke/remove a Twitter application simply click the “Revoke” button and you’ll see the application grey out and the button text change to “Undo Revoke Access”.
Manage Google Account Access
Perhaps the most confusing of the services to manage is Google, or is it Google+, or is it Google Accounts? Google is in a bit of a transition phase at the moment, which lends to some of the confusion. People don’t know WHERE in Google they are authorizing things. The reality is that no matter if you’re using Gmail authentication, Google+ games permissions, Google accounts login, etc it’s all technically the same thing and quite easy to manage. Nearly all of Google’s properties have the now ubiquitous black bar across the top and when you’re logged in you’ll see your name across the top right hand side. Click your name and select “Account Settings” and you’ll be taken to your Google Account Overview.
The one nice thing about this is that it doesn’t matter if you’re in Gmail, Google Reader, Google+, or any other Google application… you’ll should be taken to the Google Account Overview. From this screen click the “Edit” link next to Authorizing applications & Sites and you’ll be shown your Google Connected Sites, Apps, and Services. Click [ Revoke Access ] next to any application connected via Google for which you want to remove Google permissions. Google of course holds a mountain of data on us and I’ve previously warned about watching your Google+ Games privacy settings.
It’s a good idea to review your Twitter, Facebook, and Google applications on regular basis. Once you know where to look it’s simple to delete Facebook applications, stop Facebook authentication, prevent Twitter authentication and Sign in to your Google Account for logging into sites, and to revoke access to Twitter and Google.