Social Media

Are Facebook Giveaways Jeopardizing Your Privacy And That Of Your Friends?

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What’s a great way for a business to reach new customers? Give them something free! No one can pass up an awesome freebie, and consumers love the thought of a business giving them something without expecting anything in return. One of the most popular ways for businesses to get exposure on Facebook is to offer a giveaway or other promotion.

Facebook giveaways can usually be entered with just a few clicks, and why not try it? What have you got to lose? Well, if you’re not careful, you could be losing more than you realize. Facebook giveaways could be invading the privacy of you and your friends. Here’s what you need to know.

Giveaways and Third-Party Apps
For a promotion to be in compliance with Facebook’s Terms and Conditions, it must be done using a third-party application. Businesses have to build an app for the promotion to be run on, meaning that it runs separately from Facebook on a “canvas page.” The canvas page will appear within Facebook, but it has its own separate URL. You don’t have to leave Facebook to use a third-party app, you just have to give permission.

Should You Give Permission?
Whenever you’re asked if you want to allow a third-party app to access your Facebook page, you are giving a business permission to see your personal data. How much, however, is up to the business itself. It can ask for very broad permissions to view your profile and your friends, for example, or it can ask for limited permission. Business would prefer to get as much information as possible, but Facebook users are more likely to accept if permissions are more limited.

If a third-party app is being run by a major brand that you trust, it usually doesn’t hurt to allow it. You are, however, giving up your personal data, and there is always a risk associated with that. Even if a business promises to keep your info private, your info could be stolen if their website is hacked, for example. If you do not trust a business or are unsure, do not give permission, because third-party apps are the most common way for viruses to infiltrate your profile.

Safety in Promotions
In short, Facebook giveaways can jeopardize the privacy of you and of your friends. If you are selective with which giveaways you enter, the risk may not be very high, but it still exists. It can be easy to get blinded by the potential prize, but you should not let the allure of winning lure you into giving just anyone access to your profile.

Giveaways that are more safe to enter are giveaways in which you just need to “like” a page or leave a comment. Those giveaways, however, are technically not allowed on Facebook and could actually result in the business’s page getting shut down. The risk doesn’t stop many businesses from running those types or promotions, however. There are many ways to win – are you willing to take the chance?

Lucia Collins works for Marketing Resources a group dedicated to promotions management, go visit the site to learn more about effective, client-centric giveaways and promotions.

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