Everyone has a version of this story.
Cathy had a busy Facebook page. Her life was on that page. When she married, when she moved to her new home, when she had her baby, were documented on her Page. And she had 5,000 friends.
Cathy and her family planned to go to Disney World. She wrote about it, her friends commented, giving advice from where she should stay to what rides were must misses, to what and where she should eat.
Cathy and her family went to Disney World. When she got home, her house had been properly burgled.
The police were summoned. Access has been gained by a window which, on her Facebook page, has been described; “The house is wonderful, except that kitchen window which we have to fix as it doesn’t close properly.”
You don’t need to be a member of CSI to know that someone read her page, followed her closely, knew when she was leaving her house, and the contents thereof.
Cathy, as most people, don’t seem to get that although they may be at home, typing in ‘privacy’, everything on that Facebook page can be seen by just about everyone. All of your friends and their friends…even if it ‘private’.
If your page betrays certain information, if it is convenient, you will be targeted. Soon enough a thief will have the information they need.
Wiser people don’t use their real names, don’t give their real addresses, and never tip their hand. They’ll talk about movies and television programs, politics and practices.
Yeah you might learn they live in Texas or Thailand. You might learn they have two kids or five dogs, and a bicycle. But where in Texas? Where in Thailand?
Facebook, like other social networks, is walking naked down Main Street.
I can put a name into a Search and spin though a list of folks on Facebook. I can visit their pages, I can shop for information.
Never pour out your information on Facebook. Don’t take those stupid sexy photos unless you don’t care what is done with them by people you never met.
Someone can pretend to be anyone and fool you easily.
Another famous story has a woman searching for an old school friend when suddenly she appears. It didn’t dawn on the poster that ‘Google’ and ‘Classmates’ and other such sites are easy to farm for information.
Hence, Arlene Schwartz is looking for Amy Laiken who used to attended P.S. 269 in 1960.
How difficult is it to put P.S. 269 into a Google Search and learn everything about it, pluck info Arlene posted, and concoct the persona of Amy?
Trust nothing and no one. If you can’t have lunch with Forge, how do you know this guy is Forge? How do you know you are writing to Candy, your new BFF, who you met on Facebook…and she’s …
well…. she’s a he named Ade who lives in Lagos.
If a RL friend says s/he joined Facebook as ‘Worf’ then you know who ‘Worf’ is. You can friend Worf and no one who doesn’t know who Worf is can’t get that hook in.
If you join as Oliva Pope, and tell Worf that is who you are, then everyone who wants to ‘friend’ Olivia can …
because that is not you.
Be very careful, and don’t think anything on Facebook is private. Nothing is private. Nowhere on the ‘social networks’ of the Internet is there anything like privacy.