A Word of Warning about Facebook Games
As you may already know, there are games you can play on Facebook which tend to involve inviting your friends to play with you, from Scrabble, which I love, to games like Zombies, where you “bite” friends to turn them into zombies, to games where you make a farm or build a zoo. When friends invite you to play one of these games, it is tempting. I first learned about Facebook when a curator invited me to create a Facebook account, and the next thing I knew he was biting me and asking me to be part of the Zombies game. I couldn’t believe it—it seemed so childish—but I did it, on the basis that he was (and is) a very important person for me to know. I ended up getting addicted to the game and started biting all my friends. That is how these games are designed; they’re made to be addictive so that you’ll invite your friends to play them.
But here comes the problem. These games can be designed by any independent software developer who wants to make them. Most designers aspire to create a game that will be used by millions so that they can profit from it somehow. Other designers have darker ambitions, like getting into your friends’ accounts. Whenever you decide to accept an invitation to join a game, a dialogue box will open that tells you what information the game has access to, and that information will usually be a list of your friends. That means by clicking the “allow” button, you are giving it permission to use all that information. I strongly suggest you refrain from playing any of these games. It is because of them, in part, that Facebook accounts are now getting spammed, like those annoying posts you might see from people who are actually your friends, saying things like, “I got a free iPad, I can’t believe it! Click here to get yours.” When you click the link you are shown sites that mimic Apple’s real site and then they ask you for your zip code, email, and whatever other information they can get from you. There are tons of these types of scams, and their common goal is to get your email address so they can send you spam directly. Beware, and try not to participate in these games unless you are designing one!
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