to love or hate facebook

this morning i woke up to couple of alarming phone messages and texts.   last night i was busy playing chess online with my bf.  now a days, before we start playing, i declare that i will lose this game, but let’s see how well he can do and how long i can last.  so anyway i think last night’s game lasted a long long time.  think we had more than 80 moves, but not sure if i’m just imagining it or not.  it was late into the night.  so anyway, i slept for couple of hours.  then i heard the phone start to ring.  didn’t pick up.  don’t usually pick up when i am still sleeping.  ate breakfast.  but then i got a text informing me that one of my friends on facebook was chatting with “me” online and was being asked to send 750 or 950 dollars to a western union in london.  they had my passport and i was in need.

so i logged into my account.  and right there before my eyes, lines that started out with my name, showed up with words after it.  words i did not type.  sentences i did not construct.  and demand i did not make.  i kept writing to my friend it’s not me.  stop reading.  it’s not me.  stop reading.  she must have been so confused.  but finally she listened to me, and did not wire money to UK to save my butt.

then i tried to figure out how someone got into my facebook account.  was it my fault?  had i done something?  or was it coincidental or random in someway?  nothing i could have done to protect this from happening?

i started taking off personal information from my facebook page.  took of contact info.  education info.  personal info pertaining to my interests in music, book, movies, etc.  then lastly after writing couple status updates to inform everyone to disregard anything they heard from me in the past 24 hrs, i deactivated my account.

then guess what happened?  i had changed the password on the account.  but i was able to log back on and my acct was live.  so weird.  who had done it?  i deactivated the account for the second time.

i got busy changing username and passwords to all kinds of accounts that i have online.  my bf was really helpful in helping me systematically prioritizing the kinds of secure privacy an account needed.  everything on that tier gets one password.  another tier of security level, another password.  then you periodically change passwords on every account on that priority tier.  thinking of usernames and passwords this way really helped me get through the day.

i think maybe i overdid it.  i cancelled couple credit cards  and i changed my phone number too.   just felt like if somehow someone was able to hack into my account, not only did they have my personal info including my phone number, all my e-mail accounts, all my IM accounts, but also they might have access to the password i used on the account.  and since i had not systematically prioritized accounts and assigned corresponding passwords and usernames, password on facebook was also password for other accounts with higher need for privacy and security.  so while it seemed crazy over-reaction, i cancelled credit cards, changed phone number, changed username and password on just about every account i use more or less regularly.

on the phone with some service agents, they would ask, how are you doing?   then i would say, great, considering someone hacked into my facebook account!

so will i activate my facebook account after all this hassle?

ah, to love or hate facebook.  definitely feel like i need it, but do i really?  at the cost and risk of compromising security of important information that i want protected from the public?

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