Minnesota, USA April 6, 2011- Could hackers just leave our accounts alone Every message that we receive from our friends' accounts need to be analyzed with the cynical eye. Hackers have moved from the classic 'help e-mail' to the 'help Facebook message'. Everything we use, whether it is e-mail or a social networking site, is under constant attack. It is disappointing that we almost need to make phone calls, set up code words or security questions in order to confirm that someone truly sent a message and is in 'need' - whatever that entails.
Social networking sites are integrated into our daily lives where it may be getting more difficult to separate ourselves from the situations that may arise. These sites are filled with drama in every form- you name it and it is there; some profiles are overloaded with friends of hundreds or more which could make it more vulnerable to hacking. We start believing that every post we see in our News Feed is posted directly by our friends. Some hackers make their presence obvious by changing someone's status that contain obvious junk mail, but others mascaraed well as the actual individual; the scary part is that some are talented and use whatever information they can that the individual already posted of him or herself. Most friends do not question anything if the person on the account can accurately answer questions - unfortunately anyone can look over photos and know what the person did over the weekend, ETC. Are we setting ourselves up to cause ourselves and our 'friends' more pain
Privacy on the internet was always an issue; however, we are discovering the overall impact more after the 'boom' of social networking occurred. Just as a note- I love Facebook. Actually, I fully enjoy every part of engaging with my friends on it. Although, there are several steps I take to ensure my safety and the safety of my friends.
Change passwords often- even weekly would not hurt
Watch out for false - typically intriguing sounding - applications
Limit the information you share - do not bear your soul
Call friends if you notice any unusual activity on their accounts
Keep account settings high - keep checking back often for changes in settings available
Have fun - but do not get caught up in a drama that could be 'false'
By following these tips, maybe your Facebook time - or your preferred social network - will be safer and more enjoyable overall. Plus, it could just be fun to just catch a hacker in action and bust him or her when he or she is on a friend's account. Perhaps hackers have the tools to break in but let's make sure that they do not have the tools to take over and claim it as their own. We can create enough drama on our own - go crazy!