Messages such as, “A girl killed herself after her dad posted this to her wall” have become commonplace on the newsfeeds of Facebook users. They are exactly the message that every Facebook user should avoid. Taglines such as these are ploys that aim to get the receiver of the message to click a link to find out more about the story. Upon clicking this particular link, Facebook users will be subjected to a malicious password stealing scam that allows their Facebook account to be accessible to strangers.
This is not the only scam that exists on Facebook that threatens students with the possibility of private information being stolen from their accounts. One of the most recent hoaxes tells users that Facebook has developed a ‘dislike’ button, and all the user must do to access the option is to click the link. Those that click the link are led to a non-Facebook sponsored page that asks for personal account information. The challenge is that this page appears to be the official Facebook page.
For the at least 95 accounted Facebook users who are “friended” to the SLCC Facebook group page, and the presumed hundreds of students who are not friended to the page, the hoaxes have created concerns about the privacy and safety of Facebook.
“Knowing that people can find all of my private information makes me sick. Some of the purchases I make are made online because it is very convenient for me and I am able to have that availability more often than not. I don’t mind that people know where I live on Facebook but having access to every person’s details is just wrong,” Katrina Burden, SLCC student said.
Students are expressing concerns on the overall safety of Facebook. These hoaxes are a few of many methods of hacking Facebook accounts to steal private information. Local students like Burden are asking the question of what can be done about the issue.
“With all the ways technology has helped us, you would think that there would be some way that they can stop this. I don’t know if I still feel safe using Facebook. I haven’t ever run into some of the pop-ups such as the ones where they can access your info and I hope never to, but call me paranoid, I just want it to be researched so that they can’t access my information just by seeing my name,” she said.