Ak! It has happened again! What? More Facebook hijackings! Please click the following link to see what I mean.
Facebook Hacking & God Awful Gold Lame Sneakers
Unfortunately as society becomes more dependent upon computers, people have “gotten stuck on stupid”. No one uses common sense anymore. With the internet (and most of life) there is no such thing as just “set it and forget it”. Yes, Facebook does have a certain amount of safeguards (nod, nod, wink, wink) but you as a user must be responsible for the upkeep of your pages.
This means regularly checking your security parameters. For some strange and inexplicable reason, Facebook is constantly changing them in order to (in my scathing opinion) LET hackers into the system. So, we the users must be just as savvy in keeping a lockdown on our accounts. The only way to do that is to be vigilant.
1. The most important is your password. It should NOT be anything related to your name, address, social security number, phone numbers, birthday, etc. Why? That’s too easy for the hackers to figure out.
Your password/code should be as random as possible using upper and lower case letters, numbers and symbols. Some sites don’t allow symbols as part of passwords so you should have a selection of them without symbols ready just in case.
If you simply cannot concoct a random password, you can Google a password generator and let the computer generate one or several for you.
If you don’t want to do that, or don’t feel you will remember those passwords, I have another suggestion. Use Shakespeare! Othello Act 1 Scene 2. ex: OTHact12
Note: This was merely an example and not meant to be used.
My personal favorite is the Bible. Unless the hackers are mind readers they will never know which verse I’m using for my password/code.
2. Another hint, change your password often. At my place of employ there is an automatic program which forces everyone to change their codes every three months. Annoying yes, but needful. Remember while you are at work and/or asleep, hackers are at work. And because the internet is global said hackers don’t even have to reside in the United States!
3. At least once a month do a system sweep of your FaceBook account settings and privacy. Review all of the applications that you have allowed to have access to your account. These are called “third party apps” and you usually have to give them access to your account, your Facebook friends, and permission to auto post on your wall. If you don’t want a particular app to do that, DELETE or DENY them permission.
A warning about Facebook games.
4. Facebook games are a sure way for your account to be hacked. As mentioned above they must have permission in order to have access to all of your friends, your personal info, and post on your wall. If you are a strict privacy buff like me, do not give them permission. Technically, you should ask all of your Facebook friends if THEY WANT their information given out in order to play Mafia Wars, or Sim City, etc. Some may not and you’ve gotta respect that.
If your friends send you invites to join games, tell them nicely that you don’t use them because they are a security risk. Period. You’re not being mean or anti-social, you are just using common sense.
5. Along with checking your Facebook security, don’t forget to check which devices have access to your account. In addition to your desktop or laptop at home, do you also use an I-Pad? A smartphone? Those addresses (and names) will be plainly listed for you to see.
Now, lets put on the thinking cap. If you look at your list and see ten devises hooked up to your account and you know you only have three. . . . It’s time to do a couple of mouse clicks and kill / DELETE those devises and “sessions” you don’t recognize. What’s this mean? Someone else is hanging out and lurking on your account. Like the baby bear said in “The Three Bears”, “Someone’s been sleeping in my bed.”
THROW THEIR BUTTS OUT!
For safety’s sake if you prefer, do a “clean sweep” and shut everything down or deny access to them all. This will require you to sign back in with each of your devises, one at a time. This way you will be secure in the fact that it is only YOU using your account. Not a hacker or a spy/lurker/stalker. . . . . .
6. EXTRA! EXTRA! You don’t have to LIKE everything on Facebook! As a matter of fact, you should not! You should only LIKE legit organizations and trusted pages and stay away from advertisements! Especially those which redirect you to weird sites which are way off the Facebook grid. That goes doubly for the ones who LURE you with FREE STUFF!
Except for rare cases, free stuff has a tendency to come with strings attached. In this case the strings can be viruses, trojans, cookies, worms, bots, and all kinds of nasty things to steal your personal information, and destroy your computer to boot.
7. Facebook is all about connecting with family, friends, people with like interests, and recently business and business networking. You want to be honest and transparent with people, but you must beware you may giving away vital information to hackers and identity thieves. All they need is your name, date of birth and city/country of residence, to move in on your bank accounts, social security and even file income tax returns in your stead.
So ladies, (and some men. . . . .) here is your opportunity to either lie about your age, or leave just it blank! Keep the hackers on their toes and guessing. For gender, you could enter the total opposite and add a photo of some androgynous cartoon character you like for your avatar.
For those who really want to “go to ground”, you might even consider using a pen name, or nome de plume. I’ve done it for the past two years. Why? Because I literally had stalkers on Facebook.
Huh? What’d you say, Nanci?
Alas, that is a subject for another blog post……..
I hope this post was helpful. Comments are most welcome.