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29 Responses to Facebook scares users with account protection status warning

  1. Dawn · 1359 days ago

    I agree. I am not comfortable giving facebook any additional personal information. How do I keep the Facebook warning from popping up every time I sign on? Thanks.

  2. Tipi · 1359 days ago

    Absolutely agree - I took one look at it & thought 'bugger that!' My security is as good as you can get.

  3. Novella · 1359 days ago

    Agreed. There's just no way I'm going to give Facebook or anyone else my cell number, etc. Simply not going to happen.

    With their billions, I would have thought they'd have had a basic clue as to the best way to approach security.

    • Mrs W. · 1359 days ago

      Facebook doesn't need to care about security because it doesn't seem to hurt their bottom line when they have incidents. And they have had many.

      Until people wise up and start leaving over it, or strong legislation is passed that begins to cost them, expect the same.

  4. Robert Slinn · 1359 days ago

    I got to the mobile number step, sent a text twice to 32665 but never received a reply

    * Text the letter F to 32665 (FBOOK)
    * When you receive a confirmation code, enter it here:
    * Facebook does not charge for this service. Standard messaging rates apply.

    Add this phone number to my profile

  5. Alice · 1359 days ago

    Facebook appears to remember the connection between an email address and an emailed friend request and generate a fresh FB friend request (as if it's a fresh request within FB) if the email address is added to an FB profile, regardless of whether the 2 people concerned have been friends in between... I blogged about it happening to me a couple of months ago.
    http://alicejaneinnewcastle.blogspot.com/2010/10/...

    • Yep, that's one of my concerns about giving them an additional email address. More opportunities for Facebook to inter-connect users without my express permission to use the data for that purpose.

      That's not to say that I know they will do that on this occasion, but past experience means that I wouldn't be surprised..

    • Rob · 1359 days ago

      Yes, I had this. Somebody I knew slightly a couple of years ago and sent a friend request to when I was new to FB, but at the time wasn't a FB member. They subsequently joined earlier this year, and were immediately made my friend. In the intervening period, I had decided not to continue any friendship with them, so was most alarmed to get a notification email! Luckily I was online at the time and managed to delete them within a couple of minutes.

      Surely such requests should be time-limited, or there should be a way to rescind them.

    • zein · 575 days ago

      ya ya give them another email :P

  6. peter pan · 1359 days ago

    Hey i dont care who hacks into my FB account.. its under a false name.. heh heh...

    • Banquo · 697 days ago

      But what about all your contacts? Are they using fake names also? A hacker could exploit your contacts just as easily as they could exploit you if you used your real name.

  7. Corrine · 1359 days ago

    There's a bit more to this so-called "Account Protection". As I wrote in http://securitygarden.blogspot.com/2010/12/facebo...

    -- Any added e-mail address is given the default setting of "Friends Only".

    -- If you elect to add your mobile number, there is a pre-checked option to add the number to your Facebook profile.

    Personally, I do not share my e-mail address with anyone on Facebook and have not provided my mobile number. I use the "only me" setting for e-mail, address, phone, etc. Anyone who would need my e-mail address or mobile number already has that information.

    If you have forgotten how to check your Privacy Settings in Facebook, instructions are in the above article,

    • Only Way to Only Me · 1359 days ago

      The only way to secure your information on Facebook is to not use Facebook, or to never provide any piece of information that you don't want to be fully public.

      If you think otherwise, enjoy your KoolAid.

  8. Marisa · 1359 days ago

    Thanks for this walkthrough. I was curious about this as well. Instead of clicking on that link, I personally just mentally prepared myself for the impending doom. I encourage people to ask themselves what bad things will really happen when their account is stolen. I am vaguely worried about an attacker using my account to gain the confidence of another user, but since I don't really use FB in that way I'm hoping that a random plea for help from me would draw red flags.

    • Richard · 1344 days ago

      Marisa, sorry but your post read ambiguously to me the more
      I look at it. The terms "what will really
      happen..." and "vaguely worry..." seem
      to imply that you feel that there is little to be truly concerned
      about from a page hijack. I would not be so casual about
      underplaying the risks, there are a whole host of identity theft
      issues that could occur depending upon what information you put on
      Facebook should your account be stolen as well as the general
      problems associated with spam and phishing. In addition, should a
      local burglar manage to gain access to both your phone number and
      address, you may find that you have a considerable amount to lose.
      Should a malicious intruder choose to make your information public
      to everyone, then this might just be the start of many other issues
      and problems. I would not underplay the potential hazards of openly
      shared information myself - it only takes a few minutes to think of
      a multitude of unwanted and potentially very serious consequences.
      What amazes me is that people openly display all of their
      information voluntarily, and sign up to a service that also informs
      anyone who visits their page that they are currently away from home
      at the time of posting.

  9. andyjohnston · 1359 days ago

    This is so typical of Facebook, all it seeks to do is gain more and more user information for its benefit. I've quit Facebook in disgust at the lack of privacy and am currently trying out sites such as Diaspora which is said to be more secure and am also waiting for the release of Mycube which provides complete control over user content.

  10. broden slater · 1358 days ago

    i lost my phone an the person who found it hacked my account an changed my password an is writing shit on my account how do i contact facebook to get my account back not happy

  11. Shawn · 1358 days ago

    Get a free Google Voice Number and you won't have
    to worry too much about loosing your actual mobile phone and it
    works just like a mobile phone number (SMS). By that same token,
    get a free Gmail account with no contacts and use that for
    alternate contact email with the added bonus you can use it to sign
    up for websites that require an email address and turn around and
    spam you!

  12. shirley yoder · 1355 days ago

    I keep getting a low protection on my account, add an
    alternate.email address. I am not feeling safe to give that
    information.I type my facebook password each time I want to enter
    Facebook.

  13. Dez · 1352 days ago

    There was this survey on the facebook page asking how many friends I have, my sex, and age range then it said to pick a gift. Such as a $1000 gift card to Target and two other places. I did part of the survey but I didn't click on the free prize. Then I went to http://www.facebook.com instead of just writing facebook and now when I log into my account on my mobile I don't get the HOME PROFILE FRIENDS INBOX on top when I try leaving comments. Oh and I don't have one of those smart phones.

  14. eve · 1302 days ago

    so if you enter a second email, then it asks for a mobile number...what if you have a trac phone and there is no texting available. how do you answer the next question???

  15. Pat Wood · 1268 days ago

    Well I feel dumb (can I use being older as an excuse? too trusting?) because I DID give my second email address (one that I never use) and my mobile phone number to call. The phone was on vibrate and I didn't hear it when they called to give me a PIN number that I have no idea what to do with. Then, as I returned to my Home page after posting albums on FB, there was that second email address!!! I was furious, attempted to call the number they called me from (no luck), and then x'd it out. I am hoping it doesn't appear again. How can I get in touch with FB?

  16. MelOnWheels · 1029 days ago

    all this makes sense, unless you DO get hacked, like i did on november 2...i hadn't given any alternate email addy's or my phone number and my FB account remained lost to me as did my gmail...the hackers had phished for $$$ with a "help, i am in Madrid and i was robbed" scheme...

    i had no way to get back my FB or gmail accounts other than filing electronic forms and waiting and waiting and waiting for nothing...it took 8 days for gmail to respond and my account folders had been wiped clean of all emails...it took 9 days for FB to respond and by then, i had created a new account by texting contacts i had on my phone that i had been hacked...

    damned if you do and damned if you don't, says a recently hacked FB'er

  17. I have a major problem with any security question(s) that have answers which are a matter of public record. Of all the questions shown, only the name of your dog and first person you kissed are questions that can't be answered through a public records search.

    I understand that web admins are wary of subjective questions, since it can change over time, but give your users some credit! If I answer that "slate gray" is my favorite color, and my favorite color changes, that doesn't mean I'm going to forget that "slate gray" was once my favorite.

  18. Donna Jones · 885 days ago

    Part two

    I was pretty upset because, now they had all of my information and I was locked out.
    Today, I got an email from someone at facebook who wanted to be "friends?"
    When I clicked on her name in the email I was of course right back where I left off several days ago.
    Only this time, I did not put in any spaces in the phone number.
    It came back with a different choice this time, to get a call back, which I was happy to do.
    But when Facebook called my house just now, they left no message at all.
    No one was there.
    I am just sick of the whole thing.
    This is why I waited so long to join.
    I did not trust them before, now I know why!

  19. Donna Jones · 885 days ago

    I signed up for my first facebook account several days ago and entered all of the information I thought to be reasonable.
    I went back and forth into my account several times during the day, no problems.
    Then later that same day, I wanted to put a link from facebook to my Google blog page and did all of the requested steps as found on several sites.
    When I got all finished, I hit save, then got a page that said type in the letters in the box as a security step.
    But there were no letters in the box.
    Only another box that asked for my phone number as an alternative for the security check.
    So, then with no other choice, I reluctantly put in my home phone number as requested.
    Then a message came up saying that I would be sent a text and when I got it to come back and enter it into the box to get clearance.
    Problem is, I have no cell phone, we live way out in the country, so no reception.
    So there is no way I would ever get a text message.
    I gave up and left, then I found out that this has happened to many other people lately.

  20. Osho Sukhmani · 442 days ago

    After adding alternative numbers and emails, I have actually been locked out without any information from FB to even INFORM me that I've been ousted from my account, much less any explanations, proceedings and whatever. FB never means what it says and this is all the more reason to distrust it

  21. Wow what is it with old men and guns. This happened in Simsbury a couple of years ago when an old man shot and killed a mother bear as she was going back into the woods to her cubs. He was upset that she ate some of his bird seed. Poor bears. Stupid people.

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About the author

Graham Cluley runs his own award-winning computer security blog, and is a veteran of the anti-virus industry having worked for a number of security companies since the early 1990s. Now an independent security analyst, he regularly makes media appearances and gives computer security presentations. Send Graham an email, subscribe to his updates on Facebook, follow him on Twitter and App.net, and circle him on Google Plus for regular updates.