Facebook admin have noticed an influx of accounts with hacked Facebook profiles infiltrating genealogy groups on Facebook. If you are an admin or member of a Facebook genealogy group, how do you keep safe? The admin of the Irish Genealogy Page, Anne-Marie Healy, created a support group on Facebook called Scam & Spam Alerts! Where genealogy buffs can keep abreast of “of current email scams and phone scams and scammers and spammers on Facebook and other internet dangers.”
A Facebook account brings added responsibilities to protect yourself and the people with which you are connected. The worst thing you can do is to allow your account to remain dormant for months without knowing what is happening with your account. Admins see several dormant accounts when they go through Facebook Group member request. They cannot let if you are just not active or if you were hacked previously and stopped using your account. A good admin will not accept membership requests to a group if the Facebook profile has no posts for six months to a year. You should deactivate you account for a few weeks at a time until you become active again:
To deactivate your account:
- Click the account menu at the top right of any Facebook page
- Select Settings
- Click Security in the left columnChoose Deactivate your account then follow the steps to confirm
“If you deactivate your account your profile won’t be visible to other people on Facebook and people won’t be able to search for you. Some information, such as messages you sent to friends, may still be visible to others. If you’ve deactivated your account, you can reactivate it at any time just by logging in. If you can’t remember your password, you can request a new password” (Facebook Help).
If you have set you Facebook preferences so that your posts or profile photo does not show, a good admin may not accept you to a genealogy group. Consider allowing your posts and profile photo to be visible until you have been accepted to the group you requested to join.
Change your password often, and use passwords that are not words that can be found in the dictionary. Use a mixture of letters, numbers, and symbols, and test to see how strong your password is at Password Meter. See more advice on how to keep from getting hacked at How not to get Hacked According to Expert Hackers.
Help protect others connected to you or in genealogy groups with you on Facebook. Be sure to join the Facebook group, Scam & Spam Alerts! They have more specific suggestions and illustrations:
- Do not give third party apps access to your Facebook profile.
- Do not like or comment “Amen” on Facebook posts that reference articles a year old.
- Be careful sharing posts by people that you do not know.
- Make your friend’s list private.
Do not click on links to websites that you do not recognize. Use Dr. Link Check. As a member of Facebook genealogy groups, help to keep your group safe by reporting spam, pornography, and other suspicious posts to the group admins. You should also report the profile to Facebook.
Recently, there has been a rash of Facebook accounts being hacked. Another account is created using the person’s current Facebook profile. Then all connected friends receive another friend request, and the madness continues. Let your Facebook friends know immediately if you are hacked. Report it to Facebook.
Change your profile photo. Change your Facebook password, and your e-mail password associated with Facebook. Set your preferences to send a notification when someone logs onto your account from a different place than you ordinarily access Facebook.