Social Networks

Published on February 26th, 2013 | by Mark

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Foursquare

A social networking website that shares your location with other users and lets you know who’s nearby and where to meet up with friends.

Getting Around

Foursquare lets you create an account without having to type in your password.  By connecting Foursquare to an existing Google or Facebook account, you can access all of Foursquare’s services without any problem.

You will be reminded to confirm the account with email and set up a password eventually.  Foursquare’s password policy appears to be very lax.  Only five characters are required for the password to be accepted, and there seems to be no need to include a of mix of cases, numerals or symbols.

Tread Lightly

Foursquare can be accessed without holding a proper account with the service.  Your Google or Facebook accounts will serve just fine.

There are no options to beef up access security such as SSL or two-factor authentication.  A strong and unique password for the service is currently the only thing separating the outside world from your data.

Security Settings

Foursquare does not have any security settings as such.  When clicking on your profile picture at the top-right corner of the screen you can access the account settings and control a host of privacy settings related to the publication of your location and comments.  Apart from restricting access to the data you publish there is no other option related to account security.

Watch Where You’re Going

Foursquare receives and stores any information you type in whilst using the service.  Personal data is used for such purposes in order to help Foursquare provide you with its services, improve user experience, customise the advertising content you see, and communicate with you about specials and new features.  Foursquare does not rent nor sell personal Information to third parties.

Exit Left

To permanently delete your account, sign into your account and go to the account settings page by clicking on your profile picture at the top-right of the screen.  Click the ‘Privacy Settings’ tab and scroll down to the bottom of the page.  Click the ‘delete your account’ link in the paragraph of text.

You’ll be asked to confirm your request and once you click the blue button, your account and check-in history will be deleted completely from Foursquare’s system. There is no way to restore a deleted account.

Hacking Confirmations

Notwithstanding Foursquare’s popularity, it has luckily kept a pretty low profile in the hacking news.  However since you can connect Foursquare to Facebook, Google or even Twitter accounts, if any of these services are compromised then your Foursquare might be in danger of being misused as well.  This happened to actor Ashton Kutcher on January 2012, after some pranksters hacked into his Twitter account and used the Foursquare account connected with it.

Using Other Apps With Foursquare

When you use Foursquare, certain information may be shared with third party applications.  The use of third party apps is subject to the terms of use and privacy policies of such third party developers.  You should review the policies of third party apps and websites to ensure that you are comfortable with the ways in which they use the information you share with them.  Foursquare does not guarantee that third parties will follow their privacy policy.

Data Security Tools

There are no specific tools available to help users of Foursquare track the security of their information.  Foursquare gives users a host of privacy controls to restrict the people who can view your location and read comments on Foursquare or connected services.

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