Don’t connect with strangers on Facebook

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IT security firm, Sophos, released findings today that confirm it is very easy to convince Facebook users to share personal information with complete strangers.

Here’s what they did:

“Sophos created two fictitious users with names based on anagrams of the words ‘false identity’ and ‘stolen identity.’ 21-year-old ‘Daisy Felettin’ was represented by a picture of a toy rubber duck bought at a $2 shop; 56-year-old ‘Dinette Stonily’ posted a profile picture of two cats lying on a rug. Each sent out 100 friend requests to randomly-chosen Facebook users in their age-group.

Within two weeks, a total of 95 strangers chose to become friends with Daisy or Dinette – an even higher response rate then when Sophos first performed the experiment two years ago with a plastic frog. Worse still, in the latest study, eight Facebookers befriended Dinette without even being asked.”

Keep in mind, Facebook has very detailed privacy options for every profile. Mashable does a great job of recapping these steps in their Facebook privacy primer. Please check it out and be sure to protect your data. Identity theft is a serious matter and should not be taken lightly.


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