What is Social Login? A Master Key to your Personal Data
So, what is social login exactly? Social login is a popular account sign up option for many online accounts. Instead of creating a new profile by entering your email address and creating a password, you can fast-track access by using your Facebook or Twitter credentials to log in instead.
It’s a popular option for companies and online users alike. Companies like it because users are more likely to sign up if they don’t have to do any extra work to create an account. And users like it for the same reason – it makes life easier! The less usernames and passwords you have, the easier they are to manage.
But what is social login risking?
Social login poses a number of serious security risks:
As we discussed in a previous article about social login risks, as soon as someone steals your social account information, they can log in to any other existing accounts you hold that allow social login. This is why social media accounts are a popular cybercriminal target – they hold the key to many websites – and a lot of your personal data.
Hackers can also use your social login credentials to create new accounts under your identity. Your social account holds a treasure trove of personal details, from your birth date and contact details to billing information, pictures and family connections. They can very easily set up a full account using your name and identity, and threaten your online reputation or seriously damage your credit score if they can access your credit card or financial details.
Social login risks for personal data
The newest trend that is risking your personal privacy via social login is company data hacks. Six huge password hacks of 2015 showed us that, this year, there is no guarantee that our personal information held by third-party companies is absolutely safe from attack. One of the top lessons of 2015, during which even the federal US government was hit, is that corporate security and privacy policies may not be enough to protect you….
When you give a company permission to use your social login to create an account, you are often giving them permission to access your contacts list, likes and other profile information. Is all of that data needed to set up the account? Probably not. And it’s your safest bet to restrict personal details in accounts to the minimum required. You don’t want a data theft from a giant corporation to take more of your data than necessary. Plus, they aren’t just putting those details away for safekeeping – companies collect data in different ways, and use if for different purposes, including advertising with third-parties that you likely won’t be aware of.
Is social login worth the risk?
Social login is easy, convenient and tempting. It’s a free way to keep your logins organized and to avoid annoying resets when you forget your many passwords. It’s a time and brain saver, but it has costs that may not be worth it.
February 16, 2016 / By: Leah