Last night, I nearly had my Facebook account hacked…again!
Luckily, Facebook seem to have upped their security measures and instead of being summarily kicked out of my own account and watching it get hijacked in two minutes or less, I was able to jump through some hoops and regain control of it, so was merely locked out for a few hours.
Facebook is one of those things, I feel, where you get what you pay for… and considering it doesn’t cost a dime, it’s a pretty awesome tool. For keeping in touch with friends, setting up parties and social events, sending well wishes and commiserations, finding out what’s going on around town, sharing info for social groups, study groups and what have you. So, as much as we love to gripe about how they keep changing things on us and how we hate the Timeline nonsense and even though I seem to be constantly spammed with pictures of people’s cats… I would totally miss Facebook if it disappeared on me.
January last year, I lost control of my Facebook account and my Gmail account to some hackers who then proceeded to send messages to everyone I knew saying I was stranded in London, had been robbed at gunpoint and had lost my passport and all my money… so could you please send money to a bullshit Western Union account. Now most people knew the messages weren’t from me immediately – apparently the first clue was that messages contained poor English and there were too many spelling mistakes by far, for it to have come from me.
But nonetheless, I spent an entire day fielding concerned texts and phone calls, and offers of assistance from people wondering if I was actually in London and in trouble! Even one of my University professors sent me a message saying that he too was in London, and could help me out if needs be. And while this outpouring of concern was touching, it made it awfully apparent why these hackers expend their energies on these things… because they work! Most of my friends are well educated and many are quite tech savvy and yet here they all were checking up on me… someone whose Friends List isn’t quite so switched on might have carried on interacting with the hackers and actually send them money! 🙁
This time it looks like some sort of data mining thing… since having to go all ‘scorched earth’ on my old Gmail and Facebook accounts and start all over again, I have no added games or extraneous applications on Facbook and have hidden all the ones that everyone else uses so I don’t get spammed with them constantly. I never click to find out what my zombie survival rate is or which super villain I am, and have done my best to limit exposure to secondary applications that piggy back off Facebook (Words With Friends being about the only exception).
We believe, and we could be wrong here, that this breech may have occurred from one of those ‘Want to know who is looking at your profile’ type posts. Or maybe it’s due to the interconnectivity of other web based programs like Instagram, LinkedIn, Klout or FourSquare, though their privacy policies are pretty clear…? Pure conjecture that. Anyway, however it happens, I like Facebook and have no desire to lose it, and no matter how much I love you, if I see one of those ‘Click Here to See Who is Looking at your Profile’ type bullshit posts on your wall… I am going to delete you.
Apologies in advance.