Saturday, April 16, 2011

Who really views your profile? How to fix and hide from hackers, spammers and scammers

If you don't want people calling you, sending you e-mails and IMs or even showing up at your door. Then I would not put that information on Facebook to be sure. It's not even that hard to retrieve. Just as an example I used a Yahoo mail account. A sad sad account with 0 friends :-(
I'm so very lonely..... I know ! I'll use Yahoo mail's import from Facebook feature that searches all my friends Facebook pages, ( I used a FB page with 1040 friends) and brings their e-mails to my yahoo.
Whew, now I have friends. 905 separate contacts, some with multiple e-mails associated with their name. Yay ! And it only took 3 minutes.

Hmm I wonder how many cell phone numbers and home addresses I can find ?

For this one I could have used a simple program to find and download them but that is actually against the terms of use by Facebook. Unlike getting all those e-mails which is perfectly ok. I personally don't want to get banned, but the guy who hacked your friends Facebook doesn't seem to mind, because he had lots of time to get all the info first and then spam any ads and scams he wanted to before getting shut down.

For my sanity's sake at having to manually go to each page, I'm going to use an account with 139. These 139 are personal friends who have been listening to me preach for two years to make themselves more secure and how to do it. Lets see if they listened.

Well the results are in. I'm pleased to say that all 16 of my Facebook family members gave no info other than e-mail. So that leaves my 123 friends, lets see how they fared. I collected 31 cell phone numbers. Of those 31 only 2 were guys. Leaving 29 women who (let's be honest) are for the most part, young and quite attractive. 5 of these 29 women also listed their home/street address. I don't think I need to stress how bad an idea this is. ( By the way - I also collected 114 new e-mails and 43 instant messenger IDs)

Well, now that I've frightened you, how do we fix this ?

The fix is to go into your "edit my profile", on the left side you'll see privacy settings.
After which you once again look on the left for "Custom" and then the little blue "customize settings"

You'll see many things that you can change who views. When you click one of the grey locks on the right and click custom it'll pop up a small window.

Click the drop down option beside 'These People' and change to "Only Me" on many things. I would recommend at the very least the address and phone #. Personally I have every thing from religious views down checked "only me" on mine. I understand that e-mail is not a big deal, but keep in mind that you will receive a lot of spam mail so it may be a good idea to designate one e-mail address as your possible spam receiver and share it.

I'm sorry if you want your friends to see, if they need to they can message you. It's way too easy to be have an account compromised on Facebook. Can you really tell me you've never seen a friend that appeared to have been hacked ?

I also really dislike the "check in" and "allow my friends to check me in" features. I swear that I saw someone post that they were loving their new 64" plasma TV, then the next post from them was of foursquare checking them in somewhere across town. I just remember thinking "Hmmm I could use a new TV. " Granted I'd never do that, but you see my point.

I've shared this to Facebook several times and even directly messaged people about it and yet I can still see half of their numbers. Oh well, I guess they are in for some, " I saw your number on Facebook, whatcha doin' ? " 2 am text messages from me.

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