Tag Archives: facebook

Cyber security awareness: The Facebook feature you will love



This month as part of Cyber Security Awareness Month I had the opportunity to talk to expert, Jennifer Jolly about cyber security, especially about being safer and protecting my privacy on Facebook.

“President Obama designated October as National Cyber Security Awareness Month. National Cyber Security Awareness Month is designed to engage and educate public and private sector partners through events and initiatives with the goal of raising awareness about cybersecurity and increasing the resiliency of the nation in the event of a cyber incident.”

Jennifer and I discussed:

  • What are three quick steps you can take to help make sure only the people you want can see your stuff?
  • What are some security controls that are available to protect our accounts and privacy?
  • How can login approvals help to keep our Facebook account safe?
  • Why is it so important to have unique passwords for our social media accounts?
  • How can we control what information we share with apps when we login using our Facebook account?
  • Why do we need to periodically review the apps connected to our accounts and clean house? What is an easy way to do this?
  • Where can we go to for more information?

Our interview is audio, so grab a pen and paper and take a few notes. I was surprised at how fast and easy I was able to tighten up the security and privacy settings on my personal Facebook page – and how many apps I had actually given access to. You will be too!


Jennifer Jolly is an Emmy award-winning consumer tech journalist and “geek speak translator.” She’s one of the nation’s most trusted experts when it comes to reviewing and explaining consumer electronics and the days’ top tech trends. A 20-year broadcast industry veteran, Jennifer writes the weekly New York Times Wired Well column and is the host and syndicated columnist of TechNow. Jennifer is also frequent guest contributor for the Today Show, The Meredith Vieira Show, The Talk, CNN, HLN, Dr. Oz, and the Rachel Ray Show.

Fake Facebook Friends

facebookfriends A photographer friend of mine just told me that thousands of her photographs from   her blog have been copied and used to create a fake Facebook account.  Just days later several friends circulate a warning that identity thieves, because there is honestly no other way to describe them, are stealing images off of Facebook and setting up “dummy” Facebook accounts.   The warning reminds friends to pass it on and that if they get a second friends request that either their friend has developed multiple personalities or that it is a fake.   I think in most cases it’s probably a fake.

But why set up a fake Facebook account?  Why would you care to learn that a complete stranger’s Aunt Emmy is baking cookies today or that their nephew got a new dog? Continue reading Fake Facebook Friends

Peek a Boo I See You: Facebook Searches Show All

Facebook has always had a questionable reputation when it comes to protecting users’ privacy. While the company prides itself in offering a variety of secure settings, you need to be aware that what you share on Facebook could be seen by anyone. And, now, so can you. Or, at least you’ll be easy to find by anyone searching for your name. This is due to the fact that Facebook is turning off the feature that allows users to remove their profile from the search. Not only can this be an invasion of your privacy, but it could lead to identity theft issues.

Why the Change?

Facebook decided to do away with the option of hiding yourself from the site’s search feature because they claim that only a small percentage of people use this option. What exactly is a small percentage to a company that sees literally billions of users each day? It could be thousands, if not millions, of users that wanted to protect their privacy.

How This Affects Identity Theft

The more a person can learn about you, the easier it is to steal your identity. It doesn’t matter if it’s something as simple as your hobbies, your mailing address, or even your cell phone number. All the pieces add up. Once a person finds you on Facebook, the damage could be done quickly. Without the proper privacy settings in place, someone could find out a lot of information that would prove useful in identity theft. Continue reading Peek a Boo I See You: Facebook Searches Show All

How legitimate are your likes on Facebook?

Are you safe when you log into Facebook? The premise behind the social networking site was to bring real people together, but are the pages you click on legit? Are you really interacting with your favorite local business or is there someone else behind the screen? While it may not seem like a big deal, fake Facebook accounts and fan pages can actually lead to identity theft. Let’s take a closer look at how people are using fake accounts, what this could mean for you, and how to protect yourself while on the world’s largest social networking website.

What Are Scammers Doing on Facebook?

There are a number of reasons people may not use their real name on Facebook, even though the website suggests that people use their real identity. First of all, there are those that want to interact without their employers being able to find their account. There are also those that have pen names. With today’s growing business of independent publishing, this is becoming more and more common. However, it doesn’t stop there. There are those that are opening Facebook accounts and starting Facebook pages for fraudulent reasons. These people may be hoping to gain the trust of a company’s customers or portray a business as something it’s not. Because Facebook accounts are so easy to set up, it makes it much easier for scammers to fool people.

What Could This Mean to Facebook Users?

If you think a company page is legit, you may be more forthcoming with your information. For example, you might provide your address in order to obtain free samples. By gathering enough information, scammers will be able to easily steal your identity. If the page is claiming to be that of a local business, you may even be tricked into giving away your home address, which could the scammer access to your mail. With your address information and latest credit card statement in the scammer’s hands, you may find yourself the victim of identity theft.

How to Protect Yourself

How can you tell if a Facebook page is fake? One thing to lookout for are pages that ask you to allow the page access to your personal information. Another way to protect yourself is to only like company pages by accessing them through the company’s website. This makes it much easier to find the real Facebook fan page. Lastly, use common sense. Don’t give out your personal information unless you’re absolutely sure the source you’re giving it to is legit.

Facebook may have been founded on the idea of people interacting without hiding behind fake names. However, that doesn’t mean people abide by the rules. This means you need to be just as careful when using Facebook as you are in any other situation.

Join Identity Theft Secrets on Facebook

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Sex Offenders on Facebook and other Social Media

Should sex offenders be allowed on Facebook? That question will probably prompt the obvious response, a loud “Hell, no!” but many organizations are arguing that banning sexual offenders from social media violates the offenders constitutional right to free speech.

Many state laws are in effect that successfully ban or limit sex offenders from using social media.  New York state law demands that registered sex offenders report all of their internet accounts (email, instant messaging, and social networking) and bans social networking for sex offenders convicted fo a crime against minor. NY state law also bans convicted sex offenders from social networking if they were convicted of a crime that involves the internet. Other states have similar laws regarding sexual predators and internet activities.

Facebook has guidelines in place stating: “Convicted sex offenders are prohibited from using Facebook. Once we are able to verify a user’s status as a sex offender, we immediately disable their account and remove their account and all information associated with it.”

John Walsh, spokesman for the National Center for Missing and Exploited Children, said of the internet, “we know that sex offenders target and lure children and how they look at the online community as their private, perverted hunting ground.”

We all want to protect our kids so the obvious answer is to ban sexual predators from accessing them. But by doing so we are also putting our kids at a disadvantage. If we can take away the rights of one individual, we can take away the rights of the many.  The argument that civil liberties advocates use is that social media is becoming an indispensable freedom of speech.

The appropriate question to ask next is “is social media a necessity in this day and age?” The answer can be quite complicated. Most people don’t leave home without their cell phones, iPads or other communication devices. Many of these devices allow access to the internet world. Many people would argue that participation in online discussion is a matter of free speech in its most basic form.

Carolyn Atwell-Davis, director of legislative affairs at the Virginia-based National Center for Missing & Exploited Children, said of the issue, “It’s going to be really, really hard, I think, to write something that will achieve the state’s purpose in protecting children online but not be restrictive enough to be unconstitutional.”

State legislation can help parents protect their children but only to a point.  State’s cannot trample on the freedoms given to citizens.  So in the end the protection of children is really left up to parents and the owners of each individual website. Parents need to be vigilant about the activity of their kids online and social media websites need to make rules regarding what actions they will take when sexual predators register with them. These two actions are the best way to keep children protected from those our society has deemed unfit.


This guest post is by Linda St.Cyr,  a freelance writer, blogger, and columnist. She covers a wide variety of topics from food to celebrity gossip. Read her work at Ecorazzi, Yahoo! Contributor Network, or The Hungry Kitchen.

Facebook age limits lowered?

According to the Facebook Statement of Rights and Responsibilities, 13 is the official “age of consent” for having a Facebook account.   However, we all can probably name at least one child from our friends and family that are on Facebook and under the age of 13.   Some of these accounts are made with their parents’ permission to lie about their age and some are just created with or without permission as pre-teens simply check the “box” and begin LIKING Facebook.    Recently however, Facebook creator Mark Zuckerberg thinks that the age should be even lower.

The Children’s Online Privacy Protection Act (COPPA) was created to protect children online and requires that certain websites that collect information on its users do not allow children under the age of 13 to use the site.   Zuckerberg wants to change that, citing the “educational” benefits of using Facebook.

“That will be a fight we take on at some point,” Zuckerberg said according to CNN. “My philosophy is that for education you need to start at a really, really young age. Because of the restrictions we haven’t even begun this learning process. If they’re lifted then we’d start to learn what works. We’d take a lot of precautions to make sure that they [younger kids] are safe.”

According to projections based on its yearly State of the Net survey conducted by Consumer Reports there are:

  • 7.5 million of the 20 million minors on Facebook in the past year were younger than 13.
  • More than 5 million were 10-years-old or younger.

To counter the consumer report one a Facebook spokesperson said Continue reading Facebook age limits lowered?

Social networking passwords requested by prospective employers

It’s a tough economy out there. There are plenty of people looking for jobs, and if job applications and competition among other applicant’s wasn’t tough enough now potential employers may be adding one more line to that form; one that says “What is your Facebook/Twitter/Other social networking site password?” Would you provide it?  Continue reading Social networking passwords requested by prospective employers