What can they find out about you on Facebook? Plenty. I’ve always been of the opinion that in a country like New Zealand, if you have nothing to hide and you are a law abiding citizen, then there is no real threat. Now I am talking largely in terms of people or organisations watching you for purposes detrimental to your own. I still have that opinion from a New Zealand perspective and as I don’t have anything to hide, I’m not overly cautious, but that doesn’t mean I throw caution to the wind either.
For example, a couple of days ago I get a ‘Friend Request’ from someone I had never heard of, in another country. Now if I get a friend request on Linked In (which I use solely for buiness networking) or MySpace (which I use solely for the purpose of marketing my music) I will accept a friend request from a total stranger, because the information I am sharing on those sites is information I want to share.
Facebook is different however, because almost every connection I have is with people I personally know, typically family, friends and acquaintances. It is a personal social network and my philosophy there is that my ‘friends’ are people I trust. I am much more open on that page and share photos of what I have been up to etc. I am more relaxed about the information I share as are my fellows.
So back to this week, I received a friend request from someone I had never heard of, from a country I have never been to. Rather than accepting it, I sent them a message asking why they sent me a friend request. I got a response back saying ‘Because I think I like you’. Needless to say I declined the invitation. Now it might have been a genuine reply and given that the person had a band page and appears to be a musician, it may well have been sincere and the liking may have been platonic from the perspective of one musician to another, but the key is that in Facebook I am very cautious about who I accept as friends. I don’t want to have to be too guarded and it is great fun keeping up with friends and family all over the world in a situation of many communicating with many.
This week an in Australia a person got approval from the court to ‘serve’ someone via Facebook. In this case it was people who had defaulted on a $100,000 loan and then dissapeared. They were found on Facebook. It may not be as insidious as it sounds, given that people are normally ‘served’ in newspaper advertisements and precedents have already been made when Sonny Bill Williams decided to walk out of his contract with the Bulldogs Rugby League team in Australia, to go and play in France, he was served by a text message to his mobile phone, but that’s another story.
I’m go to write this blog in two parts, with the 2nd focussing on what they can find out about you, but the first thing is that they can find you. If I want to find anyone that I know reasonably well, or know something about and they have a Facebook account, then I can find them and chances are, if I was a devious person, I could get them to accept me as a friend and give me access to all their Facebook information.
First of all I can search for their name. If there are lots of people with the same name, I can get more specific. If I know more about them I can search using various criteria. For example I can say I only want results from a certain country. If I know their hobbies or passions, I can search for people with that name, by groups, events or even applications. For example if I know they love cricket, then I can search under applications related to Cricket.
I can search by company (which could be a company they worked for years ago, by school, or by email. Then of course you can search by people you think they might know, because if you know who their friends are, you should be able to find them if you can find their friends.
So now we can find them if they have a Facebook account (and I have only mentioned simple methods) we can find out more about them.
If you want to know more, why not subscribe to my blog so you will know when I post part 2 of this blog. If you know of other people who would be interested, send them a link and if you would like to leave a comment here, I would welcome that too.
To be continued……………………………
While this blog is starting to get a good following, I would love to get more readers and encouraging me to keep writing. If you feel that my blog is interesting I would be very grateful if you would vote for me in the category of best blog at the NetGuide Web Awards. Note that the form starts each site with www whereas my blog doesn’t and is of course https://luigicappel.wordpress.com.
Thanks so much for your support:)
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Thanks for commenting Andy, it is a bit scary that people take advantage of sites that are there for common enjoyment.
thanks for this blog, had a read at a couple of your links, and it does upset me that things like this can happen on facebook!