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Should You Use Facebook or Google to Log In to Other Sites?

by Natasha Stokes on May 06, 2017

We're all used to seeing "Log in with Facebook" or "Log in with Google" at sites around the Internet — or less frequently, an offer to log in with Twitter, LinkedIn or Pinterest. It's a common option at news sites like and the UK's Guardian newspaper, music streaming services such as Spotify and tens of thousands of other online retailers, apps and games.

Logging in with a main account whose credentials you easily remember saves you the trouble of going through yet another laborious account creation and memorizing dozens of passwords. It allows you to easily post about something you've just read or bought.

But what exactly are you signing up for?

Requesting your data

Logging in to a website using a service such as Facebook or Google allows the website to make a request for data about you. Facebook and LinkedIn have quite a lot of data available for request: your birthday, friends list, email address, employment, colleges attended, photos and information that your friends have posted about you (for example, tagged photos). Other services like Twitter don't possess the same level of personal data about its users and aren't able to turn over as much information.

The exact data that the website is requesting pops up in a window asking for permission. Saying yes to that request adds one more tiny bridge between the virtual islands of your online self.

This seemingly small agreement can carry larger repercussions. Linking two or more sites allows companies to collect more data, building an increasingly rounded profile about you. Allowing one account to have access to others means that if the least secure account is hacked, the rest could also be compromised.

Facebook and Google are by far the two most frequently used services for logging in to other sites. Facebook snared 62% of all social log-ins across the tens of thousands of sites that support it (as of the end of 2015); Google is used 24% of the time according to Gigya, a customer identity management company.

Social networks want to be a trusted source for verifying your identify. In fact, at the Facebook developers conference this year, the company announced a service called Delegated Account Recovery, which would let you use Facebook to verify your identity if you forget your password on an app or website. 

Yet social networks don't inherently have value as a trusted source of identity. Privacy is not the main concern of a social network; like any for-profit company, its focus is on monetizing its product.

We are the product. Take Facebook; according the eMarketer, Facebook is expected to generate $16.33 billion in net digital ad revenue in the U.S. market this year and Google is expected to generate $5.24 billion in display ads in the U.S.

What happens to your data

The data held by social platforms and service providers like Google covers your habits and preferences. Facebook Like buttons littered throughout the Internet bounce back data about products or articles you've liked, while the Facebook Open Graph platform for other sites comes with plug-ins that collect data such as which of your friends already use a particular website or what you do while on the site.

In response to privacy concerns, Facebook does allow you to log in to third-party apps without having to give permission to share personal details like your name, email, birthday and so forth. Make sure you sever the connection for apps you're not longer using. You can do that by going to Facebook Settings (click on the down arrow next to the question mark in the upper right) and select Apps. On that page you can click on any app and see the information the app has access to and can change those access privileges.

Adjust Facebook App permissions

Google tracks your online habits through search queries, its Chrome browser and more, building demographic profiles it then sells to companies who want to buy advertising on Google products, from Gmail sidebar ads to sponsored search results.

The more data ecosystems that are connected, the more a company can know about us and the more we continue be their product, helping to maximize their profits.

The social log-in is another way of adding data ecosystems to the company's reach. Down the line, it could cue an era of increasingly uncanny ad targeting, in line with the infamous example of Target analyzing a teenager's purchasing habits to deduce she was pregnant.

As for those Terms of Service agreements that detail what will and won't happen to your personal data: How many privacy changes on Facebook have you agreed to without understanding what they're changing? The terms of services are changing all the time as Facebook evolves. In addition to reading the terms of service when they change, make sure you check your privacy settings regularly. Click on the question mark in the 

Security matters

Signing into several sites with the one log-in can leave accounts as vulnerable as the one with the lowest security. So-called daisy-chained accounts can also make identity theft easier for would-be scammers. 

If a trusted source of your identity is less secure — whether that's Facebook, Google or another account — they risk becoming the weak link in the chain that gets targeted by attackers.

There's also the possibility that less scrupulous sites may do something else with your data than what you agreed to — for example, selling it to a third or fourth company that you do not want holding any aspect of your online identity. Before you sign into a site with your existing social account, make sure your trust the third-party site.

The rules of logging in

People use Facebook and Google log-in because it's easier than creating a new account. The benefits of sailing smoothly past log-ins and account registrations often mean we're happy to trade away some data privacy.

  • Be aware that if you choose to log in with a social account, your data will be shared between the social network and the third-party app. Stay updated on your social networks' privacy policies, and use the social log-in accordingly at sites you feel comfortable sharing data with.
  • Don't use your main account to log in to a site whose security you don't trust.
  • Don't link a social profile to sensitive info like your Social Security number or financial details. In these cases, a separate account and password is your safest bet.

The most secure use of social log-ins is with closely related sites. For example, Twitter's log-in works well with services it's integrated with its own ecosystem or where there's a benefit to being able to cross-post — say, between Wordpress and Twitter.  Likewise, Facebook could be used for services such as Instagram, Facebook Apps or other third-party services that plug in to the Facebook platform.

Updated 5/6/2017

[Google Facebook login image via OlegDoroshin /]


Privacy, News, Internet & Networking, Computer Safety & Support, Blog

Discussion loading

Can I login to goggle

From Davìď frost on October 22, 2016 :: 6:27 pm

Can I login to goggle through Facebook



From Captain Obvious on October 21, 2019 :: 11:06 am

Goggle, yes. Google - no. smile


Please open facebook

From Malik Babar on December 29, 2016 :: 3:46 pm

This is my number 6945422337


Great eye opener!

From Adela on February 24, 2017 :: 8:30 pm

Oh my goodness I’ve been doing this but I must now resign myself to taking the time, when in another site, and if interested enough to register and sign in independently.

And to think that I found this site while looking for someone to tell me why when I used FB to sign in at a different site, suddenly I still had to enter my password although in the past I never had to.  That’s why I always liked to use FB.  But now I’m shocked at the info in this great article and will keep it in mind.  Thanks very much to the author!  :o)



From Khürt Williams on May 06, 2017 :: 3:17 pm

It’s interesting that Techilicious had a Faceook login button.


It's your choice

From Josh Kirschner on May 08, 2017 :: 9:41 am

We never said that you shouldn’t use Facebook to sign into sites - it can be a very convenient way to do things - but you should be aware that it could be used by Facebook for ad targeting (like everything you do on Facebook). For those who feel uncomfortable with that, we offer a simple comment option on our site that doesn’t require logging in to Facebook.


is it already too late?

From mm on October 01, 2017 :: 8:40 pm

Paranoia or Ostrichia?
First I find ironic that these comments have the FB sign on option!
But it’s an interesting article, possibly only stating the obvious though. I was curious about the possible repercussions of using social media organisations to sign on various sites. It certainly makes life easier as it can be a real pain as highlighted in your article, to sign on again another site and store another pw.
It’s also interesting to see how so many people don’t seem to worry about it. Use their own name without a care. Talk about fairly personal things for all to see. I agree ordinary people probably don’t have need to be so cautious. However once in a while we hear disturbing stories resulting from such care free attitude. As stated, “it’s our choice” to use social media. And usually there are some privacy options one can chose from.


Why must I have an email address when I

From Margo Ellis on May 12, 2018 :: 11:21 am

Why must
I have a email address when I have a gmail address?

Information about gmail sign in

From sam thomas on May 27, 2017 :: 5:09 am

Most clear and thorough piece I have come across on this topic.I love to understand as a user if I sign up through LinkedIn on a site what are the benefits I get (aside from easy registration)? Do I see how many other LI connects are on that site or get access to some network


just curious...

From jackson on July 06, 2017 :: 10:25 am

...if, in researching this article the author or her peeps found any details about facebook being able to delete emails in a persons gmail account. specifically emails that were generated by and recv’d from facebook.  BUT I do not agree and have never agreed with any outside pty. having the authority to delete emails in MY account.  is this somehow covered in the “Full Account Access” permissions that some sites require you to agree to when using them?



From Naud on July 20, 2017 :: 12:07 pm

If you get banned from Facebook, you will lose access to your accounts on all websites on which you logged in with Facebook.


can notgeton my facebook

From Michael Anderson on September 30, 2017 :: 6:08 pm

can notgeton my facebook


Good article

From Bernd das Brot on October 03, 2017 :: 5:01 am

Gives me all the answers I was looking for. Thank you.


log in

From Debbie Hayse on October 03, 2017 :: 4:25 pm

how do i log in


Facebook login for comments?

From Josh Kirschner on October 03, 2017 :: 7:03 pm

If you mean our Facebook login for commenting on site, we’re having some issues with that. If you login via the Facebook button and it doesn’t show and you’re on Chrome, try hitting the button again or refreshing the page and it should show you as logged in.


with facebook password I don't get code from facebook

From Linda Blakey on April 30, 2018 :: 8:40 pm

With Goggle I can get a code from goggle at myemailWith facebook password I don’t get code from facebook to my email


Log in

From Rich on August 23, 2021 :: 6:01 pm

If you don’t know how to log in, then you need your computer confiscating. Shameful.


Facebook Email Address Format

From Gene Traylor on October 21, 2017 :: 11:17 am

Need my facebook email address in order to login into an app used facebook for account creation but I can’t locate it.

Reply login

From Edward Dumas on November 12, 2017 :: 5:43 pm

I really hope this works it’s been 3 years since I had access to my email address.there’s pis and stuff that I want in there….memories


TP Link Router

From Green Wood on February 27, 2018 :: 3:21 am

I think we could not use the other site for the login, those sites we can use which are more authentic site and more secure site.


better way to keep up

From wleattlanta on March 20, 2018 :: 10:16 am

better way to keep up with 3333 passwords is a password manager like


Google Chrome can also do

From Stu on March 21, 2018 :: 4:29 pm

Google Chrome can also do this for you.


To get back to my facebook password

From Linda Blakey on April 30, 2018 :: 8:31 pm

I need facebook password to set up my new phone and get back on my tablet


"Why mustI have a email

From reader on June 30, 2018 :: 10:02 am

“Why must
I have a email address when I have a gmail address?”

If you have a gmail address than you have an email address, because gmail addresses are email addresses themselves (just ones hosted by Google instead of Yahoo or AOL or whatever).

If someone’s requiring you to have *another* email address when you already have a gmail address, that requirement doesn’t make much sense.


You use Gmail??

From rob on April 13, 2019 :: 11:31 pm

Why do you use Gmail?  Dont you know that for years Google opened up and read EVERY email that they hosted? For God sakes, these A-hol@@s should be in jail!


Too many sites require ONLY FB to comment

From China Mike on July 16, 2018 :: 12:52 am

I know this article is old, but I can’t find any place to rant!

I got rid of FB a long while back, as I was tired of it encroaching into my online life. Good thing too, because as it turns out, it’s a very, very bad site regarding privacy and so on.

What steams my buns is…so many news sites and other interesting sites only have FB for commenting. THAT IS SO WRONG!

I think there needs to be a movement of some type to INSIST that popular sites give people OPTIONS, other than Fascist Book.

There, I said it.


Texting sweethearts

From Katha Schwartz on December 01, 2018 :: 4:19 am

I need to know if I can trust Frank David my online courtship from him becoming retired military and proposing most eloquently to me. PLEASE I am a senior & have had a most tragic life. I just don’t want to be heartbroken anymore. Can you help. Me. I’ve tried everything else.


Password Abuse?

From RB on September 18, 2020 :: 9:25 am

I have always felt uncomfortable when a 3rd party site is asking for my google password or facebook password.

That password is between me and those organizations!

If a 3rd party site is not reputable, and I give them my password information, there’s a lot of damage they could do.  My google password leads to my gmail account, which has lots of sensitive information.

In fact, I send myself emails each time I open a new account somewhere, with my username and an encoded version of my password, and I have a special hidden folder in gmail where I store all this info.    I’m getting old and forgetful and there are too many accounts and passwords to keep up with, so I highly recommend this way of reminding yourself how to access various of your accounts.    By encoding the passwords in emails I send to myself, it’s as simple as, for example, using JK123 if using my fictitious kids’ names John and Kathleen.


No site should ever ask you for Google or Facebook password

From Josh Kirschner on September 18, 2020 :: 1:47 pm

Sites that allow you to use Google or Facebook to log in do so by creating a direct connection to Facebook and Google for authentication - your credentials and the authentication is all done via a separate window that actually is Google or Facebook, not the original site. The original site cannot see this information. This is what you will see if you use the Facebook login to comment on Techlicious. Any site that is asking you to give them your credentials directly is likely a scam.

The best approach is to use one of our recommended password managers. Not only will this enable you to create unique, complex passwords for every site, but it will only fill those passwords in on valid sites. If someone is trying to trick you with a fake site or login, the password manager won’t recognize it as the correct site and won’t provide the information.


re google/facebook passwords and 3rd party sites

From rb on September 18, 2020 :: 2:55 pm

Thanks for clarifying, Josh, how that works.

I’m very computer literate, but not a techie, if that makes sense.  As a user, it’s hard to tell sometimes what’s an actual google or facebook window and what could be a site that’s set up a way to scam and phish.

Curious about what password manager you might recommend.  I presume all login info is stored on the web and not resident on any hardware?


See link above

From Josh Kirschner on September 21, 2020 :: 10:09 pm

See my comment above for the link to our recommended password manager story. With password managers, you information is stored on the web and on your device. In both cases, it’s highly encrypted and can only be accessed if you set up the device with your private key and you have your master password.

What happens to 3rdparty site if I changed from Login with Facebook

From WannaChangeFromFBlogin on September 19, 2020 :: 9:18 pm

Thanks for the wakeup article. Convenience has been my excuse.
So what happens in the 3rd party site if I wanna change my login method and no longer log in with FB - eg Spotify. Will this create a new Spotify account and I’ll lose access to library created when I logged in with FB?


Depends on the app/site

From Josh Kirschner on September 21, 2020 :: 10:12 pm

Most apps/sites should let you change your login in your settings. So you should be able to switch from a Facebook login to your email (many use your email address from Google/Facebook anyhow). But that’s really an app-specific question.


I just want to look up a business without creating an Instagram account!

From Linda McMaster on December 13, 2022 :: 5:45 pm

Is it possible to I look up a business on Instagram without creating an Instagram account?  I am not comfortable with Facebook, but I have an account that I rarely use.  There’s too much to read about privacy, etc.  According to multiple search results, the business must have changed locations and phone numbers within the same city.

So can you tell me (in a nutshell) the pros and cons if I were to create an account using a landline phone versus an email address?  I’ve already spent too much time on this. Thanking you in advance!


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