Archive for March 29th, 2011

The Facebook Saga Conclusion… Hopefully

March 29th, 2011

A question on Formspring reminded me that I hadn’t updated you all about my Facebook Saga.

Well I don’t know how much of a saga it was but rather a bunch of drama and frustration. If you do not know what happened, Facebook locked me out of my account two days after some one hacked into my account, plus created a new email account in my name and started to impersonate me in an attempt to scam people out of money.

If you do not want to read (or haven’t read) the back story, as soon as I became aware of my account having been compromised a week ago Saturday, I changed my passwords and did my best to inform my Facebook friends. Two days later, one of those “friends” reported me to Facebook as a scammer and Facebook locked me out, plus they made the contents of my wall so that they were not visible to any of my friends who would try and look at my account.

I was beyond livid, at both Facebook (because if they had done their job, they’d have seen that I was already aware of the situation and took the steps they had me take, multiple times, to re-secure my account) and the person (who has yet to grow a pair and admit to it) who reported me. I even broke Lent and swore at my computer and the people at Facebook after they had me fill out yet another form where I had to prove my identity.

Over 24 hours after they locked me out and 6 forms, plus 3 changes of passwords later, they let me back into my account.

I had to tell them in great detail my most recent activity on Facebook (I had to do this 4 times). I had to send them a copy of my current profile picture. I had to answer a security question. I had to put names to the faces of my friends (this was difficult as I do not pay attention to who has what profile picture and if it isn’t of a face, then I’m really screwed). I had to give them all email address attached to my Facebook profile. The kicker was having to send them a copy of the email the person who was impersonating me was sending to every one. The first time I filled out the form, they said it was optional. Then they came back and told me that I hadn’t filled out the form completely. Thankfully, a couple of my friends had already forwarded the scam email to my regular email address and not Facebook (as some did), otherwise I would have been screwed there.

Anyway, I think Facebook finally became satisfied that it wasn’t my email that had been compromised (this is what they originally tried to tell me) and that it was a case of someone looking through my friends list for people who had their emails listed publicly, created an email in my name and then proceeded to email them. Whomever did this, went to a lot of trouble. Take a lot of time and effort to go through someone’s friends list one by one. As this is the second time I’ve been hacked in a 3 week period, it is difficult to not take this as a personal attack. Especially because of the time involved in this last one.

A couple of protips:

  1. Do not make your friends list public. To hide it from every one or every one but your friends, go to your privacy settings – connecting on Facebook and change the “see your friends list”.
  2. Do not make your email public. To hide your email address, go to your privacy settings – click custom settings – change all your contact info so that only you can see it. If someone wants your email, phone number, IM, address, etc., then they can take the time to send you a message on Facebook.
  3. I also have my profile almost completely private when being searched (was at the time of this as well, except stupid me had my friends list public). I highly recommend you do that. When scammers take the time to parse your profile to find information to use (they even used my children in their scam email… another reason I don’t give out their names in public or online), it is important to take these steps.

I really hope this is the end of the cyber garbage for a good long time. I can handle trolls (unfortunately they don’t take the time to come out and play that often; the majority of you are so very wonderful). However, when someone goes to such great lengths to either hack your websites or to impersonate you in an attempt to scam your friends, it is very difficult to not just throw your hands up in the air and walk away. It is quite difficult to remain rational, reminding yourself that it is random and not think that someone is out to get you, especially when it is 2 random attacks in such a short period of time.

Needless to say, the stress of this last month has finally hit me really hard. My body has exited fight mode and is now crashing hard. Hopefully, I can carve out some “me” time soon.

And once again, I’d like to thank you all for your support. My life gets really crazy at times and the fact there are so many of you who support me through it and make it feel safe for me to share the crazy means a lot. <3