Sophos: Facebook needs to be more like Apple

Editor’s Note: The following article is reprinted from Macworld UK. Visit Macworld UK’s blog page for the latest Mac news from across the Atlantic.

Facebook should be more like Apple, according to a survey by antivirus firm Sophos.

Sophos claims that 95.51 per cent of the 1,025 people it surveyed thought that Apple should have a "walled garden" approach to verifying apps. Apple vets every app that it allows into its App Store.

"Apple has successfully run a 'walled garden' on its iPhone App Store, meaning that only approved apps are allowed to be run on the iPhone, iPad and iPod Touch," said Sophos senior technology consultant Graham Cluley. "Although some people may not appreciate the level of control that Apple has over what apps you can run on your device, it certainly has been instrumental in keeping malicious hackers and malware off the platform."

Regarding the threat from malicious Facebook applications, Cluley said: "Inevitably some of these applications are written with malicious intent - designed to steal information, spread virally, or spam unsuspecting Facebook users. Anyone can write a Facebook application, and it can be made available to the site's over 500+ million users without vetting. It's no wonder we see so many malicious attacks by rogue Facebook apps every day."

The survey was released following a report in the Wall Street Journal on Monday that claimed that Facebook users are inadvertently providing access to their name and in some cases their friends names to advertising and internet tracking companies through some Facebook applications.

This practice violates Facebook's rules and Facebook told the paper that it is taking steps to "dramatically limit" the exposure of users information.

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