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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facebook replaces sleep

i couldn’t sleep all night.  it’s now 8:30 am, so i’m guessing i won’t be sleeping today.  so i was on the internet all night, well, practically all night.  i was mostly on facebook.  i used to wonder, gosh, what could people possibly do on facebook that could take so much time?  well, now i know.  you can search for people through schools, by class, through friends of friends and see anyone new signed up or find someone you missed the last time you checked.  and i did find a handful of people last night!  i didn’t select year i graduated from highschool.  and when i did choose my graduating year to check to see who else was on facebook, well, well, well, i was shocked to say the least!  yes i found friends i didn’t know were on facebook.  and then i found friends of friends who i didn’t know were on facebook as well.  but the most shocking thing is reading through names and profile pictures of people who supposedly went to school with you.  and oh, maybe about 70-80% of the people who selected the same graduating class as me, i couldn’t recognize their names and of course profile pictures didn’t help.  in all the years that passed, people lost weight, put on weight, aged, tanned, their hair styles are different, etc.

it’s easy to find people to add once you recognize their profile picture or name.  but then there are some people who you have to take time to consider, do i really want them as friends on facebook?  people might have various reasons for not wanting the whole world to be their friends on facebook.  only my profile picture can be viewed by friends of friends and people in my network.  everything else, you have to be my friend.  on some people’s profile, you can view their friends.  i don’t know why, but i chose not to make my friend list available to those who may not really know me.  for friends on my facebook site, all kinds of info is made accessible that was not accessible before someone becomes my friend on facebook.  people can find all my blog sites on this site so maybe that doesn’t seem like a big deal.  but on facebook, people i know, when they become friends on facebook have access to all the blogsites as well.  and you know, it’s easier to bear your soul to strangers than it is to people you grew up with, or those you go/went to school with, or people you work/ed with, etc.  i even found one person who i used to have a crush on in high school.  would i want him to be my friend on facebook so that he could read up on all that i’ve been going through in the past few years?  i decided for now that i didn’t want to add him as a friend.  who knows, maybe later i’ll feel better and wouldn’t mind adding anyone that i know.

so for better or worse, instead of sleeping, i have been on facebook, twitter, and other blogsites that i hadn’t logged onto in months!  it’s nice to have so many blogsites when you can’t sleep.  but for all other purposes, i wish i didn’t have a gazillion blogsites where i have posted blogs, poems and pictures.  i have that much more work to do if/when i want to archive the words i wrote in the past few years.  and those words, especially on my xanga sites, those words were written in blood, with tears and in excruciating pain when i had other way to channel the despair.

anyway, so much for sleep.  i think i’ll go get some coffee!

facebook happenings

so in the past couple days i have found a gazillion friends that i haven’t talked to or seen in years.  one friend i hadn’t had any contact with since middle school!  and through his facebook friends page, i found another friend from middle school.  so i was im’ing into the wee hrs with the friend and you know, it’s as if we had been talking all these years and had kept in touch.  we might have even been in the same town around the same time at one point.  but who knows?  it’s hard to tell what people look like in their adulthood when the last time you saw them was when they couldn’t even vote (among other things).

i think i was feeling especially nostalgic yesterday and really looking for a way to connect with the world.  i was so happy to find my friend from back in the days.  hehe

so i just edited a 26 pg paper for my brother.  i’m kind of tempted not to even start working on my own stuff until after lunch.  it’s 11:20 am now.  i’ll get about an hr worth of work done.  then i’d have to stop!  oh well oh well.

i had to admit once again that i am one of the rare female specimen who is like a male – meaning that i am reluctant to settle down.  how’s that?  i think i hung out with too many guy friends when i was younger.  my dad raised me like i was a boy.  he practically never mentioned marriage but would always talk about academic pursuits.  well, i like it.  i like the way i am.  this way i don’t get turned down by guys.  i get to run out of the relationship before anything serious happens.  but then i do realize that i pay a high price for this:  once i ran out on someone that i really cared about.  maybe next time i’ll be more careful.  maybe.  maybe.