Last week, my Facebook profile was hacked. "I" began sending messages to my Facebook friends about a getting a great deal on Viagra. I became suspicious when I began getting e-mails from friends wondering how I knew they needed that particular product (or proudly boasting that they didn't).
You've no doubt seen them: "Lisa, I won a FREE iPad, click here to see how!" "I got a new Dell computer for free, NO JOKE." The messages usually contain a link, which will take you to a website that tries to extract personal information from you.
Everyone seems to know what to do if you receive one of these posts or e-mails: DO NOT CLICK ON THE LINK. Those who unsuspectingly send the posts know to immediately change their password.
But I wanted to know HOW my Facebook page got hacked. I use a secure connection on Facebook. I have the best anti-virus, anti-phishing, anti-malware programs I can get.
It turns out that most scams come from users themselves. The times I took a quiz, installed a Facebook game, or added an app to my profile? Who reads the "fine print" screen specifying what permissions the app needs to proceed? Guess what? These permissions can include almost anything they want to ask for, and may even include accessing your Facebook account even when you're not logged in. If you're like me, and don't read these screens carefully, you can actually be responsible for giving away your personal information - and that of your friends - and inviting hackers in.
Yes, it turns out being hacked was my own fault. It could have been adding "Words with Friends", or maybe "Twitter" or even "Birthday Calendar". My hack happened right after I imported my Facebook photos to my new Droid. Whatever the case, I never even looked to see what info I was giving them, and I have no idea who "them" may be.
Facebook continues to work on improving security, but it turns out they just can't save me from myself. From now own, I will pay close attention to what permissions I give apps, if any. And if it asks for too much information, I'll just say no. I may have to stop playing Bingo or chatting on Facetime, but I promise you'll never get a Viagra message from me again.