Ugh! My Facebook notifications are a wasteland of app requests! Here’s help for the harrassed…

App requests:  The new spam…

Are you getting smothered by Facebook app requests and invitations in your notification list?  What a thrill to sign in to Facebook and see that little number saying your friends have included you in their online activities, only to open the list and see nothing but annoying app spam!  How often are you seeing stuff like this in your facebook notifications?

Billy Williams has sent you a request in keg partyville

or

Jimmy James wants to enter your birthday in Birthday Alarm Clock

Now as much as you like your friends Billy and Jimmy, you have no intention of signing into those apps, so what do you do?  Should you just ignore the request? You can, but that won’t solve the problem of you receiving a barrage of continued requests, getting them over and over again until you’re so annoyed you start seriously considering unfriending (or worse) your friends!

Step away from the unlike button!

Don’t think too badly of your friends for this, in fact, although a friend would actually have to initiate the first request according to Facebook app development guidelines, subsequent requests may be sent automatically by the app without your friend even being aware of it thanks to this little gem called Frictionless Requests that I found in the Facebook app developers guide:

Frictionless Requests

Frictionless Requests enable users to send Requests to specific friends from within an app without having to click on a pop-up confirmation dialog.  Upon sending a Request to a friend from within an app, a user may authorize the app to send subsequent Requests to the same friend without a Dialog prompt. This removes a Dialog from the flow and streamlines the process of sharing with friends.

So although guilty of sending the original invitation, all the annoying invites since then may be coming from the app itself, taking advantage of frictionless requests to continue getting in your face perhaps even after your friend is no longer interested in the app!

Don’t despair – Here’s how you can fix it!

If you’re sick and tired of app invites and app requests cluttering up your notifications, there are settings that can help you reign in on those spammy apps without having to resort to unfriending your bffs. Here’s the lowdown, step-by-step:

First, you need to get into your privacy settings by clicking the little arrow (inverted triangle thingy) to the right of your ‘home’ link, and choose ‘privacy settings’ from the dropdown menu

stickynote tech services on facebook privacy settings

pull down your facebook settings menu and choose privacy settings

Next, scroll to the bottom of the privacy settings and choose ‘manage blocking’ in the Blocked People and Apps section

Stickynote Tech Services setting up facebook block list

click 'manage blocking'

scroll down to  the ‘Block App Invites’ section and start typing in the names of people who frequently send you unwanted app invites.  As facebook suggests the correct name, click it, and it will be added to your list of blocked app invites.  This won’t limit them from any other interaction with you, but will nicely get rid of those annoying invites.

Stickynote block app invites in facebook

type the names of people who send you app invites to block those invites in the future.

okay, so what about those apps that seem to be on the tongue of every friend, and as a result, are all over your notifications?  How about blocking the app itself? Yes!!  Go to the section titled ‘block apps’ and start typing the name of the offending app and poof! Facebook will autocomplete the app name and with a simple click, it joins your no-no-please-no list of apps you never want to hear from again (that is unless you change your mind, in which case you can go into the list and unblock to your heart’s content).

 

start typing the name of the app and facebook will autocomplete with matching app names. As indicated by the arrow, you can see part of my list of blocked apps.

 Unlike blocking invites through friends which only blocks the invites, blocking the app effectively silences it including invites, updates, bragging (Bob Roberts just earned three-gazillion schmingers in schmingerville!), and whatever other types of clever communications the developers have dreamed up to entice you to join 😛

Okay, one final note before we wrap up and you head off to build some block lists…  You should be aware, that when you add a friend to the blocked app requests list, it not only blocks the specific app request you’ve been plagued with, it effectively blocks your friend from sending you app requests from any app (or more precisely, it blocks any app from sending you invites through your friend).  The good news though, is that even when added to your app request block list, your friend can still engage you directly via chat, message, or wall to tell you live and in person so to speak, what a great app they just discovered and suggest you check it out!

WARNING! Posting vacation plans to Facebook, Twitter, Google+, and other social media could make your home a prime target for burglars this summer!

Okay moms and dads, pop quiz! What’s the worst thing that could happen to your home while you’re away on family vacation?  Fire? Flood? Burglary?  More importantly, what is the most likely of these to actually be realized by returning vacationers?

Each year, there are more than 2 million burglaries in the US, over 65 percent of which are residential break-ins, with the majority occurring during the peak vacation months of July and August, according to a July 2007 Insurance Information Institute article.

With summer fast approaching and family vacations on the horizon, it’s only natural for kids and adults alike to  announce or discuss vacation plans with family and friends on social media sites like Facebook and Twitter.

The kids are so cute on the Cape Cod dunes, who can resist posting this smartphone photo to facebook during vacation?

Unfortunately, what folks aren’t considering is the availability of that information to the broader social reach, including tech-savvy criminals who can use those posts, tweets, status updates, and discussions to identify your empty and unprotected home during the time when you are away on vacation. Those exuberant tweets of upcoming vacation dates, timeframes, and destinations could increase your chances of being burglarized while away.

Think twice before cyber-bragging! That breathless post to your facebook friends, that vacation has FINALLY arrived “Look out Disney, here we come!” might as well be a giant sign on your front lawn saying “Come on in, take what you want, there’s nobody home this week!”

fishing for striped bass at duck harbor in wellfleet cape cod

A steady stream of vacation photos sent to facebook, twitter, or youtube, might as well announce that your house is empty and prime for burglary!

So do yourself a favor and skip the vacation announcements on Facebook and Twitter.  Reign in your kids who will not only discuss vacation plans openly before the vacation, but will also offer real-time status updates through their mobile phones during the vacation that further confirm the vulnerability of your home as a safe target for burglars.

 

 

 

 

 

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