Keep your Facebook safe

Keep your Facebook safe, By Conrad Walters, April 14, 2009

While Tony Barrell was overseas earlier this year, a message sent to his Facebook friends told a sorry tale. “I’m stranded in London because i got robbed at a park in Kentish town, it was a brutal experience, all cash i had on me were stolen and my credit card was collected too now i’m left with no money here. I need help out of here. “I have been reaching out to friends for help, i need some money so i can get a flight ticket back home so please can you loan me some money till i get back home? i will pay you back as soon as i’m home. Please” Fortunately, friends and family ignored his pitiful claims of destitution. Why? Because Barrell wasn’t in London, he was in Tokyo. His daughter was among those who received the fake appeal and alerted him. The Balmain resident tried to log in to his Facebook account to see what was happening but couldn’t. “It said my email wasn’t registered,” he says. Since then, he has been trying to sort through the problem with Facebook. For Barrell, 68, it has been a frustrating experience. Identity theft and scams on social networking sites, though, are not uncommon occurrences. “Like any large internet site, we have experienced these low-volume attacks where spammers and phishers try to steal our users’ credentials,” says Simon Axten, of Facebook’s privacy team in the US.