We all know the basics of protecting our identity online:
- Don’t share personally identifiable information (ie: birthday, phone number, address)
- Be careful when participating in online location-aware programs (ie: Foresquare)
- Be careful what you tweet
- Don’t ever post personally identifiable pictures (ex: don’t post a picture standing in front of your house number)
- Monitor your Facebook privacy settings-make sure they are set to “Friends-Only”
But what happens when you just want to quit a social media program, such as Facebook? Did you know that your information is never really deleted? It will live on in cyberspace. (It may not be accessible or visible, but it never really goes away). And did you know that your Facebook account could be hacked during the deletion process? That’s what happened to one Fairfax, VA man who tried to delete his account 5 years ago-only to find out recently that it had never been deleted. Instead, it had been hacked during the deletion process and was pirated by hackers promoting terrorist propaganda. Not exactly something anyone wants to see, especially someone with a security clearance!
Liz Crenshaw, consumer advocate reporter for NBC Affiliate Channel 4-Washington, DC, did a great report on it.
View more videos at: http://nbcwashington.com.
As Liz Crenshaw reported–the best solution is to keep your Facebook account active. This gives you the most control over your account. You don’t have to ever post anything again. You don’t have to read silly cat memes or view bragadocious wall posts or deal with annoying farm game requests. But by staying active you can monitor your profile and also check on the locations that have accessed your account. Simply go to Account Settings then Security Settings and view your “Active Sessions.” It will list all of the locations from which your account has been accessed. They should all look familiar to you (ex: your home city, your work location city, etc). If you see something odd, such as Florida or Thailand, and you haven’t left your home in Iowa since last summer, then you know something’s up. Just select “End Activity” on that line item and keep an eye out to see if it happens again.
What should you do if your account is hacked? Contact Facebook, but also contact the FBI, specifically their Internet Crime Complaint Center IC3. They will help you out.
Technotini Pairing–Viewers Choice
Whoah, that was a lot to take in. I say grab your favorite bottle of wine or beer, sit back, relax, and maybe enjoy a classic cat video (or my fave–dog video) and remember, that the Internet isn’t always a scary place.
HI! I’m a Shana, self-proclaimed Media Mixologist, wife, and mom to two little girls. I love to mix up cocktails of crafts, recipes, wellness, family and business with just the right amount of sparkle to help you shine everyday. So, grab a glass, and let’s celebrate the cocktail of life!