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Fake users and profiles Unmasking facebook

2018-08-28 00:20:54
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Facebook can be used for both the good and the bad (Photo Reuters) 

 

  • Sometimes people tend to share their passwords with those they trust
  • users have to be mindful when accepting friend requests
  • Facebook is a social network platform which violates the privacy of users

 

Facebook (FB), a social media experiment that turned into a sensation, has dominated the lives of millions of users from around the world. For some it’s a friend in disguise and for others it’s an addiction. They take FB quite seriously hence their friends would know what they have done, places they have gone to, what they ate, drank and whom they met on a particular day. 


How a social media platform, which in most instances is public, became a place to share personal matters is rather unknown. But today, those trends are what its users look up to as well. Rather than its positives, the downside of using FB was highlighted in most instances with people using fake profiles to stalk others and engage in cyber bullying and other practices. Even with widespread awareness, young FB users still post pictures and videos at their own risk. The Computer Emergency Readiness Team  (CERT | CC) that overseas protecting social media platforms from malware and cyber threats have received close to 1700 complaints regarding fake users and profiles over the past few months. 


“Be mindful when accepting friend requests” In his comments to the Daily mirror , Roshan Chandraguptha, Information Security Engineer at the Computer Emergency Readiness Team – Sri Lanka (CERT) said that within the past few months till July they had received around 1700 complaints. “80% of them were related to fake profiles and photos being posted to various other profiles. Sometimes people tend to share their passwords with those they trust and when they log in, the other party has changed the password. Although there are many people who act friendly on Facebook, one has to be mindful when sharing personal information. In order to avoid being stalked by fake users, always add friends whom you know personally. It is also important to protect the privacy with regard to photos and videos you share. When you click the Privacy settings you can either change it to ‘Friends only’ or ‘Public’. If you change it to the former, these photos could only be seen by your friends. When photos are public even people who are not in your profile have access to them,” explained Chandraguptha. He further said that there are instances when the other party acts like a foreigner and traps users. “In such instances the other party usually acts very friendly with the local user and the users share their numbers as well. Thereafter they promise to send gifts or money. After few days people get calls from a local number asking users to pay some amount as customs clearance. There are instances when people have deposited huge amounts of money as well. Here they have to pay cash in addition to certain taxes as well. Then after some time when users return to their profiles, the other party has either changed their FB name or has deactivated the account. There are also instances when users receive links to a video or a photo. Sometimes when they click on this link the machine freezes and at this instance, the other party gains access to your personal information. Therefore users have to be mindful when accepting friend requests from unknown people,” he warned.

 

Sometimes when they click on this link the machine freezes and at this instance, the other party gains access to your personal information


While there are active FB users who log in on a daily basis for positive purposes, many believe that it has become a place to share gossip and sling mud at others, which is far removed from the primary objective of this facility which is to connect with people around the world. Although it’s an easy way to stay connected with friends and families living abroad, people now tend to search for ‘safer ways’ of staying connected. As FB became a public platform that is open for anybody to share his or her likes and dislikes, it has also failed to convince people to continue using FB as well. 

 

 


Voice of FB users 

Sharing their thoughts with the Daily mirror , a few active FB users made the following comments:


 

“FB violates privacy of users”

“Facebook is a social network platform which violates the privacy of users. Sharing opinions and views gives rise to healthy discussions. But more often conflict of opinions-especially on matters which are racial and sensitive- sees efforts put into these discussions providing diminishing results. In my opinion FB should be used with ground rules on protecting ones privacy and personal information. Stalking and surfing profiles could allow the public to identify a person’s self-interest, connections, relationship status and recent places visited.” said Shafwan Saleem. 

Shafwan Saleem 

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“FB has its own benefits and detriments”

“Just like a coin has two sides, even Facebook has its own benefits and detriments. The main detriment is the privacy concern of Facebook which has become quite an issue due to fake profiles and people are still being stalked. Therefore, users need to be aware of whom they add to  their list of friends and about the posts that are being shared on Facebook. It should be noted that personal life matters need to be kept private without being posted in public as they would cause unnecessary problems. Also, users need to take precautions regarding their own safety with regard to what is being shared without palming the blame on others. But Facebook is an excellent way to stay connected with the world and if it is used wisely, it is an outstanding social media application in the 21st century.” – Raweena Perera

Raweena Perera

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“Depends on how people use it”

“Too much of anything is not good. Facebook has both good and bad. But everything depends on how people use it. It is a good platform for people to stay connected with the world. But it’s not necessary to update everything on Facebook because as an individual I have my personal life which in turn demands personal space. There is a society beyond FB, but everybody from youth to adults keeps drowning in it. Rather than getting trapped in a device, explore the outside world and keep your private life to yourself.” said Sudarshan Letchumanathan.

Sudarshan Letchumanathan.

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“FB is now a newsfeed of pages liked by us”

“Few years ago, I used to see people sharing their own opinions/views on life, politics and cinema. Now Facebook seems to be a place where people don’t voice their own opinion or views, but a place where people just share views and opinions of media and the pages they follow. Facebook is now merely a news feed of pages liked by us and there is the constant bombarding of opinions/perceptions being thrown at us.” – Abhishek Kanodia.

Abhishek Kanodia

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“These days its flooded with hoaxes”

“Everyone is entitled to his or her opinion. People may use this as a good platform to share their thoughts, but people need to respect the thoughts, ideas and beliefs of others too. Take whatever is necessary and leave the rest. Don’t insult others and do act responsibly. FB is good in a way and has its negative side as well. These days it’s flooded with hoaxes, news, personal thoughts and so on. Being aware of the facts is most important before sharing something. It all depends on how we use it.” said Mohomed Rehan.

Mohomed Rehan

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“Not a good place to share private information”

“FB is a good platform for marketing and to keep in touch with friends and family, but not a good place to share private information.” – Heshan De Silva 

Heshan De Silva

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  Comments - 1

  • Thanga Saturday, 1 September 2018 07:02

    More than 50 % of Facebook members use fake names when they join. By hiding their real identity they can get away with abusive and slanderous comments about others. The Facebook Management knows such subterfuges, but to make money they simply don't care. For them more the merrier.

    Reply : 0       1

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