Facebook is a prime target for hackers to get your personal information or that of your organization. As the largest social media platform in the world, by far, hackers around the world who are looking to steal identities, information and wreak havoc and mayhem are having a field day with Facebook. Therefore, it’s crucial for you to continually check and spot fraudulent activity on the social media platform, or you can easily have your profile stolen or worse.
What Facebook Knows About You
A fascinating infographic that was published recently shows how much there is to steal by criminals on Facebook. If you think that the platform only knows your name and whatever you post, like or comment on in the platform, you would be mistaken. Of even greater interest is that Facebook knows even more about you than Google, which is the largest search engine in the world and the place where you presumably type in things that are interest to you, for example, the URL for your bank account or the sites you like to go shopping.
A bit of what Facebook knows is as follows, aside from the general data points, such as your name, gender, age, or relationship status:
- Income level, which is found with brokers dealing in personal data (big business these days!)
- Facial recognition data
- Browser information
- Devices you use
- Political, religious and ethnicity
A Stolen Profile
Not too long ago, a friend of mine told me she was home late one evening, and on Facebook Messenger, she received a note from a “friend” asking how she was doing. Without thought, my friend replied to the person on Messenger. The “friend” had been a fundraiser, and so was my friend, and so the person in Messenger asked my friend about the “American Charitable Foundation,” which was information readily available on Facebook for someone with access to a profile.
The way my friend explains it, she was alerted rather quickly that something was not right because as the online conversation began to evolve, she wondered why the “friend” would reach her through Facebook Messenger since that was never the pattern for their communication. They’ve always communicated by telephone or email. The information that the “friend” was typing about the “American Charitable Foundation” seemed suspect to my friend, who had been a fundraiser for many years.
Starting to get a sense that something was “off” about the whole exchange, my friend asked her “friend” on Messenger about another person whom they both knew who was struggling against cancer and they had discussed the week prior. The response on Messenger was “She’s doing great!” It was at that moment that my friend confirmed her suspicions that she was not communicating with her friend, but instead a scammer. In addition, my friend also knew that phone, computer and tablet cameras could be hacked into and minutes before when she had an inkling something was curious, she promptly turned off the lights and positioned the tablet so there was no lens view of anything other than darkness.
My friend blocked the “friend” on Messenger and Facebook, who by that point was asking her to call the “American Charitable Foundation” on the “friend’s” behalf. She also reported the impersonation to Facebook and telephoned her friend directly to inform her that she had been hacked. It turns out that it was a hacker in Algeria.
How to Protect Your Facebook Account
The following are a few of the things you can do to make sure to keep your personal and also Facebook pages secure.
- Don’t log into Facebook or Messenger from any public internet network or devices.
- Use your Facebook password only for that platform and nowhere else.
- Turn on two-step authentication for access to your Facebook account. You can do that by going to your “Settings,” “Security and Log-In” and then “Use Two Factor Authentication.”
- Turn on Secure Browsing by in the “Security” section of your “Settings” so you can limit the sites that request that you sign in using Facebook.
- As happened with my friend, learn about how to spot scammers on Facebook.
Author of “Not Your Father’s Charity: Grip & Rip Leadership for Social Impact”(Free Digital Download)
© 2018 Wayne Elsey and Not Your Father’s Charity. All Rights Reserved