http://facecrooks.com Fri, 17 Feb 2017 16:52:41 +0000 en-US hourly 1 http://wordpress.org/?v= Why You Should Hide Your Date Of Birth On Facebook http://facecrooks.com/Internet-Safety-Privacy/Why-You-Should-Hide-Your-Date-Of-Birth-On-Facebook.html/ http://facecrooks.com/Internet-Safety-Privacy/Why-You-Should-Hide-Your-Date-Of-Birth-On-Facebook.html/#comments Fri, 17 Feb 2017 16:52:41 +0000 http://facecrooks.com/?p=10382 The post Why You Should Hide Your Date Of Birth On Facebook appeared first on .

Many users who are fed up with Facebook and want to delete their profiles end up not following through for one simple reason: birthdays. Indeed, among all of the site’s many features, Facebook’s birthday notifications might be the most invaluable for people who no longer keep tabs on friends’ occasions the old-fashioned way. However, even…

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facebook-privacy-200Many users who are fed up with Facebook and want to delete their profiles end up not following through for one simple reason: birthdays.

Indeed, among all of the site’s many features, Facebook’s birthday notifications might be the most invaluable for people who no longer keep tabs on friends’ occasions the old-fashioned way. However, even that innocuous feature poses a safety threat to users, according to security expert Phil Lieberman.

“It’s one of the pieces of information that’s most often used in identity theft,” Lieberman told The San Diego Union-Tribune at a security conference. “Hackers scrape Facebook and LinkedIn for information like that because it helps them to pretend to be you.”

Hackers don’t need much to get started stealing your identity — in fact, just a birthdate and a zip code will suffice. It’s difficult to scrub that information from the Internet completely, but the consequences could be dire if you don’t try.

“Something seemingly innocent, like posting our birthday on Facebook, can provide thieves with just enough information to access bank accounts, credit cards, sign up for credit and more,” identity theft expert Kelly Santos told The Christian Science Monitor in 2013.

To remove your birthdate from Facebook just go to the “About” button, then “Contact and Basic Info.” Then, set your birthdate privacy preference to “Only Me.” While it’s fun to get a rush of Facebook well-wishes on your birthday, it’s even better to secure your online identity.



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New Tool Calls Attention To Facebook’s Creepy Graph Search Feature http://facecrooks.com/Internet-Safety-Privacy/New-Tool-Calls-Attention-To-Facebook%e2%80%99s-Creepy-Graph-Search-Feature.html/ http://facecrooks.com/Internet-Safety-Privacy/New-Tool-Calls-Attention-To-Facebook%e2%80%99s-Creepy-Graph-Search-Feature.html/#comments Thu, 16 Feb 2017 23:07:18 +0000 http://facecrooks.com/?p=10380 The post New Tool Calls Attention To Facebook’s Creepy Graph Search Feature appeared first on .

Facebook launched a feature called Graph Search in 2013 that allowed users to search through pretty much every piece of public content on the site while using just about any criteria you could think of, including photos a particular friend has liked, places they’ve been and events they’ve attended. While this creepy tool is still…

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Privacy symbol with digital globe, 3d renderFacebook launched a feature called Graph Search in 2013 that allowed users to search through pretty much every piece of public content on the site while using just about any criteria you could think of, including photos a particular friend has liked, places they’ve been and events they’ve attended.

While this creepy tool is still around, Facebook has deemphasized it quite a bit over the years. However, it reentered the news in a big way this week thanks to a new tool called Stalkscan that aims to show users just how much of their private information is out there.

A Belgian “ethical hacker” named Inti De Ceukelaire created the tool, which acts as a simple web interface, to take advantage of the full power of Facebook’s Graph Search. It generates searches to meet highly specific requests like, in the example illustrated by Motherboard, “photos of single females liked by a friend.” This is obviously extremely creepy, but it’s important to note that Stalkscan can’t find any information that Facebook’s own search engine can’t also find — it just does a more efficient job of digging it up. And it can only pull up content that has been publicly shared by a user.

In fact, the creator of Stalkscan himself recommends that users check their own profile to make sure they’re only sharing what they want.

“I’d advise people to check themselves first while logged in into a friend’s account,” De Ceukelaire wrote. “If they see stuff they don’t want to, they may want to remove tags, likes or photos from their profile. This way, they at least know what other people can see.”

There’s no doubt Stalkscan is a pretty invasive app, but if it achieves De Ceukelaire’s goal of spooking users into strengthening their privacy, then it’s done a good job.



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Facebook Says Users, Not The Site, Are Responsible For Spread Of Fake News http://facecrooks.com/Internet-Safety-Privacy/Facebook-Says-Users-Not-The-Site-Are-Responsible-For-Spread-Of-Fake-News.html/ http://facecrooks.com/Internet-Safety-Privacy/Facebook-Says-Users-Not-The-Site-Are-Responsible-For-Spread-Of-Fake-News.html/#comments Tue, 14 Feb 2017 22:58:41 +0000 http://facecrooks.com/?p=10378 The post Facebook Says Users, Not The Site, Are Responsible For Spread Of Fake News appeared first on .

Facebook has faced an incredible amount of pressure to take accountability for the spread of fake news on the site, and while the social media giant has introduced tools that allow third-party apps to detect hoax content, Facebook said this week that users must take responsibility for the stories they share. “At the end of…

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facebook_blackbg_logoFacebook has faced an incredible amount of pressure to take accountability for the spread of fake news on the site, and while the social media giant has introduced tools that allow third-party apps to detect hoax content, Facebook said this week that users must take responsibility for the stories they share.

“At the end of the day, if people want to share stories that have been flagged with their friends, that’s ultimately their prerogative,” Facebook vice president of partnerships Dan Rose said at a media conference. “We are making a very important point of not putting ourselves in a position of deciding what’s fake and not fake. I don’t think people want us to be the arbiters of truth… There are third parties out there who do this for a living.”

Facebook is certainly caught between a rock and a hard place with the problem of fake news. If it goes too far in policing content, it will be accused of censorship, but if it does nothing, it will face criticism for facilitating the spread of propaganda. Still, Facebook’s stance to essentially blame users for the problem is not a good look for the site, and it’s certainly not a good way to convince the public that it takes fake news seriously.


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Facebook Scam Asks Detroiters To Pay Court Fines On Social Media http://facecrooks.com/Scam-Watch/Facebook-Scam-Asks-Detroiters-To-Pay-Court-Fines-On-Social-Media.html/ http://facecrooks.com/Scam-Watch/Facebook-Scam-Asks-Detroiters-To-Pay-Court-Fines-On-Social-Media.html/#comments Tue, 14 Feb 2017 00:31:19 +0000 http://facecrooks.com/?p=10375 The post Facebook Scam Asks Detroiters To Pay Court Fines On Social Media appeared first on .

Scams can take many forms on Facebook, from con artists impersonating military personnel to acting like a potential romantic partner to solicit money. However, a new scam in Detroit seeks to take advantage of people down on their luck by impersonating a district court clerk’s office. The con involves fake Facebook pages offering a discount…

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Facebook and U.S. DollarScams can take many forms on Facebook, from con artists impersonating military personnel to acting like a potential romantic partner to solicit money. However, a new scam in Detroit seeks to take advantage of people down on their luck by impersonating a district court clerk’s office.

The con involves fake Facebook pages offering a discount on court fines if debtors pay through Western Union. What makes this scam so effective is that the court in question has offered similar limited-time deals before, waiving the late fees on people’s fines if they paid the outstanding amount by a certain date. However, the court issued a strong statement warning Detroiters not to fall for the Western Union con.

“The court would never request payment to be made through Western Union or directly through social media,” officials said in a press release. “Any amnesty programs, special promotions, or waivers will be announced on the court’s website and official Facebook page.”

Even though it seems obviously suspicious to send money to a government court through Western Union, it’s also easy to see how this con could fool people. The court does advertise real deals on its Facebook page, so it’s understandable that someone would see an offer like this on Facebook and assume it’s real. But, as always, it can save a lot of time, money and heartache to be skeptical up front of posts asking for money.



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Court: Facebook Does Not Have A First Amendment Right To Text You http://facecrooks.com/Internet-Safety-Privacy/Court-Facebook-Does-Not-Have-A-First-Amendment-Right-To-Text-You.html/ http://facecrooks.com/Internet-Safety-Privacy/Court-Facebook-Does-Not-Have-A-First-Amendment-Right-To-Text-You.html/#comments Sat, 11 Feb 2017 16:49:47 +0000 http://facecrooks.com/?p=10372 The post Court: Facebook Does Not Have A First Amendment Right To Text You appeared first on .

Facebook recently lost a First Amendment challenge that claimed the site could send users unsolicited birthday texts under its free speech rights. However, the court disagreed, and now the social media giant is left to find another defense strategy. The case began in 2015 when Facebook user Colin Brickman received a text from Facebook notifying…

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facebook-privacy-200Facebook recently lost a First Amendment challenge that claimed the site could send users unsolicited birthday texts under its free speech rights. However, the court disagreed, and now the social media giant is left to find another defense strategy.

The case began in 2015 when Facebook user Colin Brickman received a text from Facebook notifying him of a friend’s birthday. However, Brickman had marked in his settings prior to receiving the message that he did not wish to receive texts from Facebook. Then, in February 2016, Brickman filed a class action lawsuit against the site claiming it violated the Telephone Communications Privacy Act (TCPA) by sending unsolicited messages.

For its part, Facebook argued that the TCPA is unconstitutional because of its content-based restrictions on speech. But the court found that the law is constitutional — and Facebook’s texting is not protected by First Amendment rights.

“There is no evidence that the government’s interest in privacy ends at home,” the court ruled. “To whatever extent the government’s significant interest lies exclusively in residential privacy, the nature of cell phones renders the restriction of unsolicited text messaging all the more necessary to ensure that privacy.”

However, the site can continue to argue its point on a technical basis; after all, Brickman signed up for Facebook and gave the site his phone number, so Facebook could argue that he provided permission to text him. Still, for now, this is a big court win for user privacy rights.



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Ohio Attorney General Issues Warning About Facebook Romance Scams Ahead Of Valentine’s Day http://facecrooks.com/Internet-Safety-Privacy/Ohio-Attorney-General-Issues-Warning-About-Facebook-Romance-Scams-Ahead-Of-Valentine%e2%80%99s-Day.html/ http://facecrooks.com/Internet-Safety-Privacy/Ohio-Attorney-General-Issues-Warning-About-Facebook-Romance-Scams-Ahead-Of-Valentine%e2%80%99s-Day.html/#comments Fri, 10 Feb 2017 15:05:46 +0000 http://facecrooks.com/?p=10369 The post Ohio Attorney General Issues Warning About Facebook Romance Scams Ahead Of Valentine’s Day appeared first on .

Facebook “romance” scams, where a con artist seduces and then tricks an unsuspecting user into handing over money, are among the most common scams on the site. They’re so common, in fact, that the Ohio Attorney General felt the need to issue a warning about them in the days leading up to Valentine’s Day. “Scam…

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magglassFacebook “romance” scams, where a con artist seduces and then tricks an unsuspecting user into handing over money, are among the most common scams on the site. They’re so common, in fact, that the Ohio Attorney General felt the need to issue a warning about them in the days leading up to Valentine’s Day.

“Scam artists will pretend to be someone they’re not,” Ohio Attorney General Mike DeWine said. “They’ll start to communicate with a person online, and they’ll forge an emotional connection. At some point, they’ll start asking for money.”

There’s a good reason DeWine wanted to warn residents of his state about these scams: his office received 60 complaints about them in 2016. What’s worse, victims lost an average — an average — of $21,000, with some losing as much as $100,000 over the course of several years.

Of course, there are easy ways to spot these scams and then report them. If a random stranger sends you a friend request, it’s probably best to deny it right off the bat. If you get a message out of the blue from someone claiming you’re meant to be together, it’s probably a good idea to ignore that, too. It’s not rocket science, but the fact that these cons keep getting pulled means they’re working on somebody.



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Facebook Updates Ad Policies To Prevent Racial Targeting http://facecrooks.com/Internet-Safety-Privacy/Facebook-Updates-Ad-Policies-To-Prevent-Racial-Targeting.html/ http://facecrooks.com/Internet-Safety-Privacy/Facebook-Updates-Ad-Policies-To-Prevent-Racial-Targeting.html/#comments Thu, 09 Feb 2017 19:48:09 +0000 http://facecrooks.com/?p=10367 The post Facebook Updates Ad Policies To Prevent Racial Targeting appeared first on .

Facebook came under intense scrutiny from civil rights advocates and law makers last fall when it was revealed that Facebook let advertisers exclude users based on race. After the controversy, Facebook announced it would change its ad policies to prevent potential discrimination, and now that update is finally rolling out. At first, Facebook defended the…

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facebook iconFacebook came under intense scrutiny from civil rights advocates and law makers last fall when it was revealed that Facebook let advertisers exclude users based on race. After the controversy, Facebook announced it would change its ad policies to prevent potential discrimination, and now that update is finally rolling out.

At first, Facebook defended the ability for advertisers to target users based on criteria like race, while also acknowledging that this feature could be used for ill.

“This kind of communication is positive: it reflects an advertiser’s respect for the diverse communities it is trying to reach,” Facebook said at the time. “But it’s important to know that there’s also negative exclusion — for example, an apartment building that won’t rent to black people or an employer that only hires men. Our ad policies strictly prohibit this kind of advertising, and it’s against the law.”

However, Facebook soon changed its tune and promised a change to the rules.

According to the site, its new policy “makes it clear” that advertisers can’t discriminate based on race, gender, sexual orientation, age and other personal attributes. Facebook also said it will use machine learning technology to analyze housing, credit and employment ads for potential discrimination.

That fact that it took an intrepid team of reporters to make Facebook change its rules is problematic, but at least this loophole allowing for discrimination is gone.


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Police Request Facebook Data On Inauguration Protesters http://facecrooks.com/Internet-Safety-Privacy/Police-Request-Facebook-Data-On-Inauguration-Protesters.html/ http://facecrooks.com/Internet-Safety-Privacy/Police-Request-Facebook-Data-On-Inauguration-Protesters.html/#comments Wed, 08 Feb 2017 15:42:13 +0000 http://facecrooks.com/?p=10364 The post Police Request Facebook Data On Inauguration Protesters appeared first on .

Over 230 protesters were arrested in Washington D.C. on January 20 as President Trump was inaugurated. Many even had their phones taken away. Now, a report claims that D.C. police have asked Facebook to hand over information on the arrestees. But here’s the interesting part: Facebook has allegedly not kept this request a secret, notifying…

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Censorship And Free SpeechOver 230 protesters were arrested in Washington D.C. on January 20 as President Trump was inaugurated. Many even had their phones taken away. Now, a report claims that D.C. police have asked Facebook to hand over information on the arrestees.

But here’s the interesting part: Facebook has allegedly not kept this request a secret, notifying at least one of the affected users that law enforcement is snooping around his or her data.

“We have received legal process from law enforcement seeking information about your Facebook account,” the social media company wrote the user.

Facebook is within its rights to notify users of law enforcement data requests if there is not a gag order, and more importantly, this heads-up gives users a ten-day period to file a challenge to the data request.

As for why police want to gather this information on protesters, one expert told CityLab that it could help law enforcement track activists to a physical location, like an apartment, and prosecute even more people based on that.

Facebook will almost certainly bend to the will of law enforcement and submit this user data eventually, but the fact that the site tells people about it at all is a huge step forward.


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Facebook Fights For Privacy Of 9/11 First Responders In Fraud Case http://facecrooks.com/Internet-Safety-Privacy/Facebook-Fights-For-Privacy-Of-911-First-Responders-In-Fraud-Case.html/ http://facecrooks.com/Internet-Safety-Privacy/Facebook-Fights-For-Privacy-Of-911-First-Responders-In-Fraud-Case.html/#comments Tue, 07 Feb 2017 14:53:24 +0000 http://facecrooks.com/?p=10362 The post Facebook Fights For Privacy Of 9/11 First Responders In Fraud Case appeared first on .

Facebook will fight for the privacy rights of 9/11 first responders in New York’s high court this week as prosecutors investigate alleged Social Security fraud. The case began in 2013 when the Manhattan District Attorney’s Office sent 381 search warrants to Facebook to snoop around first responders’ profiles. The responders were suspected of defrauding the…

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online_privacy_redbutton1Facebook will fight for the privacy rights of 9/11 first responders in New York’s high court this week as prosecutors investigate alleged Social Security fraud.

The case began in 2013 when the Manhattan District Attorney’s Office sent 381 search warrants to Facebook to snoop around first responders’ profiles. The responders were suspected of defrauding the Social Security Administration of millions of dollars in disability benefits. According to prosecutors, the claims of “mental trauma” that many first responders made can be proven wrong by their own Facebook posts and pictures.

Facebook has already been denied multiple times in court over this issue, and it has been forced to comply with the warrants. However, the social media giant is still appealing and challenging the constitutionality of the Manhattan DA’s 2013 actions — even though 62 Facebook users have been indicted via the warrants.

“This ruling is all the more urgent because, more than ever before, technology enables the government to invade and capture the contents of a private citizen’s life,” Facebook argued in its court brief.

It’s probably a lost cause, but it’s good to know Facebook is still duking it out in court over this years-old case just to protect user privacy.


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Creepy New Facebook Feature Wants To Connect You With Strangers http://facecrooks.com/Internet-Safety-Privacy/Creepy-New-Facebook-Feature-Wants-To-Connect-You-With-Strangers.html/ http://facecrooks.com/Internet-Safety-Privacy/Creepy-New-Facebook-Feature-Wants-To-Connect-You-With-Strangers.html/#comments Sat, 04 Feb 2017 15:31:20 +0000 http://facecrooks.com/?p=10360 The post Creepy New Facebook Feature Wants To Connect You With Strangers appeared first on .

Facebook is rolling out a new feature worldwide this week to help you connect with strangers. The tool, called Discover People, lets you see a list of people who are attending the same events as you, people who live in your town and people that work for the same company as you. “Too often, it’s…

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facebook_logo_flatFacebook is rolling out a new feature worldwide this week to help you connect with strangers. The tool, called Discover People, lets you see a list of people who are attending the same events as you, people who live in your town and people that work for the same company as you.

“Too often, it’s hard to learn more about people around you, whether it is upon starting a new job, joining a new group, deciding if you want to attend an event, or moving to a new place,” a Facebook spokesperson said. “To make it easier, we’re starting to roll out a new bookmark… that can help you discover more about people you have things in common with by browsing through profile cards of people in your community.”

If the feature is available to you, you can find it in the Facebook mobile app navigation with Friends, Events, Groups and the rest of the site’s normal tools. Once you click on it, Facebook takes you through your profile to update information, and then allows you to browse through the profiles of strangers in your area or event invite list.

This feature, though well-intentioned, feels a little creepy. If you mark yourself as going to a public event, tons of people would be able to see your profile and information. Facebook could even be testing the waters of dating apps with this move, letting users swipe through other users with a Tinder-like mechanism. However, it remains to be seen if people will accept Facebook trying to force connections like this.



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