Warnings about a Facebook application called My Birthday Calendar have gone viral on the social network, but it turns out that the app is no more or less harmful than many other Facebook apps.
Sophos’ Naked Security blog reported that the warning being spread involves user information accessed by My Birthday Calendar, but the app is doing nothing different than other apps that access user data, and users must still grant permission.
The warning reads, according to Naked Security (unedited):
WARNING: URGENT! People are getting inquiries allegedly linked to a program called “my birthday calendar”. “My birthday calendar” is a malicious application to retrieve data from all profiles. It’s very aggressive, just a click makes it starts sending requests to all your friends/contacts. If a request comes from me just ignore it; NOTE please copy and warn your friends
Naked Security provided the following advice on My Birthday Calendar and Facebook apps in general:
We haven’t seen any evidence that a Facebook application called My Birthday Calendar is behaving any differently from the many thousands of other Facebook apps.
So, I think it would be appropriate to classify this chain letter as a hoax warning.
Of course, you should always be careful about which Facebook apps you allow to connect with your account, as they can collect varying levels of information about you. If you aren’t comfortable with that, don’t install the app.
Furthermore, even if you are careful about what Facebook apps you install, are your friends being just as cautious?
It may surprise you to hear that when other Facebook users choose to install apps, they can then share the information they can see about you with those apps.
Visit your Facebook privacy settings and untick those options if you wish to limit what information about you your Facebook friends can share with third-party applications.
Readers: Have you seen any Facebook posts about My Birthday Calendar?
Screen capture courtesy of Naked Security. False alarm image courtesy of Shutterstock.