Friday, September 25, 2009
Why I'm Leaving FaceBook and Why You Might Want To, As Well...
I got a phone this morning at 5:17 AM from someone who lives across the country. I don't know about you, but when the phone rings at 5:17 AM, I panic. Fortunately, it wasn't any of the horrible possibilities that flashed through my brain as my neural pathways were trying to fire, but it was a big deal. A stranger had hacked into my FaceBook account and when my "friend on FaceBook" logged into his own account, they opened a chat with him. They told him I'd been mugged at gunpoint and was stranded in a foreign country and desperately needed help. Fortunately, they chose the wrong chat victim, because this person knew better and called me immediately, even as he continued to chat with the fake me. Sure enough, I logged onto FaceBook and could see the very chat happening before my eyes! A quick search by Superman in the background and we discovered this is a known problem for FaceBook and it is ongoing. I deactivated my account, I sent an email to FaceBook, and I bid my friend good-bye and headed upstairs. Guess what? My FaceBook account was reactivated by someone other than me an hour ago. The scary thing? I'm rarely on FaceBook, so how long could this go on without me ever knowing about it? Has it happened to other "friends" on my FaceBook? I have no way of knowing.
FaceBook knows all about this scam, too. Apparently it is somehow linked to those quizzes, games, or other silly things you or your friends so. (You know: The part where it says you will allow FB to gather information about you and your friends if you continue. Even if you aren't the one who took the quiz, your friend could be doing it and that would give the hackers the access to you!) At this point, my FaceBook account is disabled...when their security department does its thing, I presume they will send me an offer to reactivate my account. Um, no thank you!
Now, I don't know about you, but I don't like social media enough to risk this kind of thing for myself or my "friends". I'm not willing to be hacked and I'm not willing to have my identity compromised for some casual fun. I don't want my "friends" contacted by someone posing as me and I don't want their kind hearts being taken advantage of. It is just not worth it.
So, I will always be grateful to FaceBook because it allowed me to connect with my long-lost sister, but from now on, if you want to chat with me, send me an email or give me a call. I'm done with FaceBook.