Tuesday, July 28, 2009

Reflections on a compromised Facebook account

My personal encounter with a compromised Facebook account has taught me several (OK, maybe more than several) things:
  • Too many people use common passwords on the Internet. As a result, it can make it easy for people to "hack" into one account and then gain access to many others.
  • I used to get annoyed at banking accounts that asked you to answer a security question whenever I tried to log in using a different computer. Now, I'm grateful for that level of security and I hope that more sites (like Facebook) will adopt a higher level of Internet security.
  • You don't have to click on any phishing links to become a victim.
  • I used to have several common passwords for various websites. I didn't use a single password on more than a few sites and some were considered "low security" passwords while others were more complex and for those "higher security" sites like bank accounts. Now, thanks to my brilliant wife, I have a unique password for every website and I'm using a logical system that helps me remember each one so that I don't have to write them down anywhere. Don't worry, I'm no longer using the same password on my Facebook account.
  • There are still many people out there who are unaware of scams on Facebook (like the common story of being stranded in London or needing money for some other reason). Hence, there is a need to tell others about potential scams on Facebook.
Well, that's about it for now. I'm back on Facebook. I only lost control of the account for a few hours and I'm grateful for all my friends who reached out to me during that crazy period. I'm just glad that I wasn't on vacation when all this happened.

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