Why Facebook video autoplay is potentially dangerous, useless and how you can deactivate it

If you want to skip my rant about security and see how to do this, jump to the HOW TO areas below.

Why Facebook video autoplay is potentially dangerous?

Here are a couple of reasons why I think that autoplaying a video is potentially dangerous:

– Facebook videos use on Windows Adobe Flash Player to render. I am not sure what they use on mobile devices where there is no Flash. I guess that If the browser supports HTML5 than uses it, if not, then there is no rendering. According to Secunia, FlashPlayer is on top 5 from 50 on the most vulnerable software.

Now, imagine that someone finds a vulnerability in the player that can be exploited with a special video file. Guess what would happen… by default … Everyone who has this feature active, and this means everybody who DIDN’T manually deactivate it, will be affected. Yes, it is probably not realistic to have something like this… but also SSL was considered bulletproof.

– Some people use Facebook at work and imagine that a video with content not recommended for office starts to play automatically.

Fortunately,, the audio is by default off, so no  reason to raise attention with strange noises. But what if you want to show a post to some colleague? Pretty embarassing if the content is not suitable for office.

Why Facebook video autoplay is useless?

– It consumes bandwidth! A lot of it. If you are on a mobile phone, you can configure it to run only on wireless.

– Slows down the FB experience. Especially if you are on a tablet of smartphone.

– I have a lot of videos on my timeline added by others. I am almost never visualising them.

How to deactivate?

How do I stop videos from playing automatically in my News Feed?

You can adjust the Facebook app’s auto-play settings to On, Wi-Fi only or Off. To stop videos from playing automatically on your computer:

  1. From the top right of Facebook, click and select Settings
  2. Click Videos on the menu on the left
  3. Click the dropdown menu next to Auto-play Videosand select Off

Learn how to turn off auto-play videos on your mobile phone.

How do I stop videos from playing automatically in my News Feed?

You can adjust the Facebook app’s auto-play settings to On, Wi-Fi only or Off.

Android

  1. Open the Facebook app
  2. Tap
  3. Scroll down and tap App Settings
  4. Tap Video Auto-play
  5. Choose an option

Note: If you don’t see the Video Auto-play settings on your Android phone, log out of the Facebook app. When you log back into Facebook, Video Auto-play should be visible in App Settings.

iPhone and iPad

  1. Go to your phone or tablet’s iOS settings
  2. Scroll down and tap Facebook
  3. Tap Settings
  4. Below Video tap Auto-play
  5. Choose an option

 

 


© Copyright 2014 Sorin Mustaca, All rights Reserved. Written For: Sorin Mustaca on Cybersecurity

Check www.mustaca.com for the IT Consulting services I offer.
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About the Author

Sorin Mustaca

Sorin Mustaca, (ISC)2 CSSLP, CompTIA Security+ and Project+, is working since year 2000 in the IT Security industry and worked between 2003-2014 for Avira as Product Manager for the known products used by over 100 million users world-wide. Today he is an independent IT Security Consultant focusing on Cybersecurity, secure software development and security for IoT and Automotive. He is also running his personal blog Sorin Mustaca on Cybersecurity and is the author of the free eBook Improve your security .

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