Social Networks

Published on March 2nd, 2013 | by Mark

0

Ask.fm

A social networking website where users can ask other users questions, with the option of remaining completely anonymous.

Password Please

There are two methods to sign up for an Ask.fm account: either by authorising access through an existing account on Facebook, Twitter or the Russian social networking site VK (VKontakte), or else by filling up a registration form on the Ask.fm sign up page.

The registration form requires you to choose a username, type in your full name, choose a password and enter your date of birth and gender.  The only restriction on choosing a password is that it has to be between six and 20 characters long.

Say What?

Ask.fm security commitment appears to be shaky at best.  In its privacy policy, the company states that it has ‘attempted’ to protect its servers by using firewalls and other generally available security protocols.

However it points out that it can offer ‘no guarantee’ that your information and data will be safe from unauthorised access from others.  There is no two-factor authentication procedure available or other security measures in place at present.

For Your Eyes Only

The security settings are easy to find but somewhat underdeveloped on Ask.fm.  After logging on to your account, click on Settings and using the tabs on screen, you can access various options such as changing your password, configuring your privacy settings for your profile and blocking anonymous posts or removing posts.

Who’s Asking?

The personal information that you provide to create and use your Ask.fm account is used primarily to communicate with you and to administer the services that are associated to your Ask.fm account.  Some usage data is also collected and analysed to deliver targeted advertising to you whilst using the service.  The data collected is not distributed or sold to third parties.

Dropping The Mic

Deleting your Ask.fm account can be a bit of a pain due to the steps involved but it can be done effectively by following this procedure:

  1. Remove third party connections and apps: Go to the Settings page and click on the ‘Services’ tabs. Click on ‘Remove connection’ underneath every connected service. You will then need to go and access each account associated to the services you had previously connected with Ask.fm and delete your previous activity, as well as revoke access, from them as well
  2. Disable your account: Go to http://ask.fm/account/settings/deactivation, type in your password and click on ‘Disable account’. You will be logged out of your account and access to it will be disabled
  3. Send a removal request: To delete your account completely from Ask.fm’s servers, you will need to send a request to an Ask.fm Data Officer at info@ask.fm or support@ask.fm to have your account deleted and all your personal information permanently removed from the Ask.fm Website.

Hacking Their Way

Although there haven’t been any public confirmations of Ask.fm being hacked into, there is a number of users who have claimed that their accounts have been hacked and used without their consent.  These reports have not been confirmed at any point by Ask.fm.

Third Party Apps

Ask.fm integrates mainly with larger companies such as Facebook, Twitter and VK.com.  According to their Privacy Policy, Ask.fm is not responsible for websites linked to or from their website, nor the information or content contained therein.  The users must exercise discretion whilst browsing third party websites.

Questions And Answers

Currently, there are no tools available to help users of Ask.fm track down how secure their information is.


About the Author



Back to Top ↑