Stay Safe on Facebook

I get Facebook friend requests a lot from people I’m already friends with. The victims of these so-called “hackers” are usually older people. We call them “hackers,” but a lot of them aren’t actually hackers. They don’t take over your profile, they just try to copy what they can see. These jerks often target older people for the same reason as those guys who show up at your door and tell you (to your complete surprise) that you badly need a new roof. They assure you they’ll give you a great deal, but then they disappear with your money. These jerks assume that older people know less about social media than younger people, so they make easier targets. It’s really frustrating.

To understand what they are doing and why, it helps to know a few things about Facebook. Regardless of your privacy settings, your name and profile picture (if you have one) are totally visible to the public. Your profile picture can be easily downloaded from your profile, and then uploaded onto a new profile that one of these jerks created. So now, they have your name, and they have a picture of you. That fact itself is not really a big deal. The problem is that your friends list is probably visible to them, too. After these jerks copy your profile, they send messages to your friends, maybe to ask them for money or to get access to their profiles and personal information. Making sure your friends list is private will protect you and your friends.  The PDF below has step by step instructions.



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