10 Ways People Use Facebook to Spy on Others
May 3, 2012
You would think that when it comes to social media sites like Facebook, the people who use them are, well, socializing, right? Well, apparently not everyone is in a particularly social mood when they log in. Here are 10 ways that people use Facebook to spy on others:
- Checking Out Their Profile – Unless your privacy preferences are set accordingly, your personal info is not private. It requires action on the member’s part to safeguard from public view what that member wants to keep to herself, or limit to friends.
- Friending – Once a person has become a friend on Facebook, they can keep tabs on your status and posts fairly simply. The tendency to automatically friend someone who friends them can open doors that best remain shut.
- Fake Profiles – If someone wants to spy on another, and cannot expect to be friended using their actual persona and avatar, they might create a new one that appears less objectionable. This is one way of circumventing privacy settings, and another is …
- Spoof Profiles – it’s also possible to use the same name as another of the person’s friends to create an entirely new profile. They can select a friend on their list whose profile suggests a limited use of Facebook (ie, no profile photo, little personal info provided on profile), and pose as that other friend on a different account, adding mutual friends to the new profile as well.
- Friending Your Friends – It’s not uncommon for members to confirm friendships with unknown people based purely on the fact that they have mutual friends. So, the logic goes, they must be OK. Not necessarily.
- Sending Gifts – It’s just a friendly gesture in most cases, but it also opens your private info up to access by the 3rd party app that the gift was sent through. This in turn leaves your private info open to sharing with others who may want to access that info too.
- Reading posts – Although someone may not have access to your profile directly, they may be able to keep tabs on you through your friends’ walls and tagged photos.
- Adding an RSS Feed – In order to continuously keep up with your status, it’s possible for a member to simply add your updates and posts to their feed and then see whenever you are logged in, right from their desktop or website.
- Send a Message – Social engineering attempts to gain access to private info works essentially the same. In this case, Facebook provides the option of sending a message to someone who isn’t already a friend. It’s the first step toward gaining someone’s trust.
- Instant Personalization – Apps and programs that can be linked to your Facebook profile, are another means for others to spy on you. For instance, you’re reading a news article online and wish to make a comment. The website offers you the option of logging in, using your Facebook profile. Non-members can access your profile by following the link from your user name.