Facebook Applications’ Installation and Removal: A Temporal Analysis

Dima Kagan, Michael Fire, Aviad Elyashar, Yuval Elovici

arXiv preprint arXiv:1309.4067, 2013

Facebook applications are one of the reasons for Facebook attractiveness. Unfortunately, numerous users are not aware of the fact that many malicious Facebook applications exist. To educate users, to raise users’ awareness and to improve Facebook users’ security and privacy, we developed a Firefox add-on that alerts users to the number of installed applications on their Facebook profiles. In this study, we present the temporal analysis of the Facebook applications’ installation and removal dataset collected by our add-on. This dataset consists of information from 2,945 users, collected during a period of over a year. We used linear regression to analyze our dataset and discovered the linear connection between the average percentage change of newly installed Facebook applications and the number of days passed since the user initially installed our add-on. Additionally, we found out that users who used our Firefox add-on become more aware of their security and privacy installing on average fewer new applications. Finally, we discovered that on average 86.4% of Facebook users install an additional application every 4.2 days.