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The Peekaboo Fake Facebook Security Tip – Why It Doesn’t Work | Mary Biever | One Writing Mother

The Peekaboo Fake Facebook Security Tip – Why It Doesn’t Work

If you see the following status on Facebook, be on guard. Not only does this lack merit – I list 3 problems with it - it increases your security risk on Facebook:

With the new ‘FB timeline’ on its way this week for EVERYONE…please do both of us a solid favor: Hover over my name above. In a few seconds you’ll see a box that says “Subscribed.” Hover over that, then in the box that appears, scroll down to bottom where it says “unsubscribe”. That will stop my posts and yours to me from showing up on the side bar for everyone to see, but MOST IMPORTANTLY it LIMITS HACKERS from invading our profiles. If you re-post this I will do the same for you. You’ll know I’ve acknowledged you because if you tell me that you’ve done it I’ll ‘like’ it. Thanks

Another version of this includes to unsubscribe from comments and likes. Problems and then the major security risk this causes:

  1. Subscribing just impacts your news feed. If you unsubscribe from someone’s page, all that does is remove that person’s information from your news feed. If you remove the comments and likes, you’ll remove the information from your news ticker. It in no way restricts your own information. It in no way restricts the information from the person whose page you just unsubscribed. You can still view that person’s Facebook profile as you would had you never unsubscribed. That person will still be able to see your Facebook profile as before you unsubscribed.
  2. Unsubscribing like this gives a false sense of security. Following this tip, which does nothing whatsoever to improve security, can give a profile user a false sense of security which could result in that person not following the real, effective steps in protecting Facebook privacy.
  3. Mobile doesn’t show the ticker.¬† With the increased number of people using Facebook via mobile, the new news ticker isn’t visible. So those who unsubscribe from likes and subscribes are doing steps which impact fewer actual Facebook users.

Often, young children play peekaboo and cover their eyes. Just because they cover their eyes doesn’t make the world disappear. They just don’t see it. This unsubscribe tactic does the same thing.

Finally, the biggest problem/risk with this. I know most of my neighbors and chat with them. I keep an eye on their house, just as they do on mine. What if I went to my friends and neighbors and asked them,

“Please do me a favor. When you drive down my street, don’t ever look in my driveway and see whether or not our cars are parked there. That will stop you from seeing my car and MOST IMPORTANTLY will LIMIT THIEVES who want to break into my house.”

If I publicly post this on my property, who is going to honor my request? The bad guys? Or only my friends who were never a risk in the first place?

If my friends and neighbors don’t glance at my house when they happen to be driving by it, will that improve my home security? No! It just means they won’t notice if I’m not around and someone does break in.

If I get my Facebook friends to unsubscribe from my posts, or my comments or likes, isn’t that comparable? What if I’m not on Facebook for while and my profile is hacked? If I’m hacked and my most trusted friends and neighbors aren’t keeping an eye on my profile via the news ticker and I’m not available, won’t it take longer for me to find out it happened?

Why would I remove my first line of defense in home security or Facebook privacy and tell everyone I’m removing it? You shouldn’t either.


4 Responses to “The Peekaboo Fake Facebook Security Tip – Why It Doesn’t Work”

  1. Katy O December 31, 2011 at 5:37 am #

    You confirmed my suspicions. I removed comments & likes a while back because I got tired of seeing them. I couldn’t figure out how these actions were supposed to stop hackers. People just need to be more selective about who they accept as friends and make their profile private.

  2. Gisela January 3, 2012 at 11:23 pm #

    first thing I see wrong with this link is that u keep using the Word “Unsubscribe”… we r not doing that…we hover over “subscribed” but dont click it and “Unsubscribe”. Every singe person I did this with is still on my news feed and all is well. And Im not plastered all over their or anyone elses ticker. And removing the comments from the ticker is exactly what we want to be doing… so that ppl that r not my friends cant see what is going on with my stuff. I see all sorts of names on that ticker with what ppl r doing.. its none of my business and it creates access to their FB page that I wouldnt normally have been able to do.. hense doing the above… it still allows me to see newsfeeds from my neighbors.. just doesnt allow my other neighbors to see what Im doing with another neighbor. Does this make sense?? LOL

    • Rebecca January 6, 2012 at 5:27 pm #

      GREAT post – just shared with my network of FB friends. MUCH easier than explaining to everyone. Thank you!

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