Social Media giant Facebook has seen a large spike in chain-mail style messages and posts

Why your profile has not been ‘Cloned’ and hints to protect your account

Unless you’ve been cut off from your Internet Service Provider since Facebook’s recent announcement of being hacked then you’ve heard about people getting messages about account cloning:“Heads-up!! Almost every account is being cloned. Your picture and your name are used to create a new face book account (they don’t need your password to do this this). They want your friends to add them to their Facebook account. Your friends will think that it’s you and accept your request. From that point on they can write what they want under your name. I have NO plans to open a new account. Please DO NOT accept a 2nd friend request from “me”. please forward to all your contacts.”

Or you may have had this in private message:

“Hi….I actually got another friend request from you yesterday…which I ignored so you may want to check your account. Hold your finger on the message until the forward button appears…then hit forward and all the people you want to forward too….I had to do the people individually. Good Luck!”

Don’t be so quick to spread the word. Here’s why.

If you were using email back in the early 2000’s, you’ll remember chain mail letters. Emails or letters asking you to forward on a message to a number of people or face the consequences.

Ironically, as a result of never participating in these, I will never know who my true love is, should have died 70 or 80 times over by now and will be covered in warts…Yup. That last one was certainly one of a kind.

By now, you’ve probably seen someone posting or received a private message around “Do not accept a friend request from me.” or the like. 

So sit back, grab your chosen beverage. The Technology Doctor prescribes you one mouthful as required and you might want some cake, just because cake is awesome.

Cloning is not a ‘New’ thing.

And like that, we now have a new you! Only without the you, or your information.

Profile cloning is quite simple. Someone takes a copy of your profile picture and creates a new profile with your name, the profile picture and as much information as they can get from your main profile. This is used for a number of reasons such as:

Trolling someone (the art of trying to cause grief or harm to someones reputation or social standing)

That’s generally about it.

Why shouldn’t we be concerned?

By now, it’s safe to say that the majority of messages being passed around is what I call ‘The Social Sheep Impact.’ One person posts something to be shared, people follow it without question or confirming the content. They follow what others do because why would your friend or family member be wrong?

Pretending to be someone on Facebook does not give someone access to your account. There are a number of things that you can do to protect your account like restricting access to your friends list. This means that if someone does clone you, they are unaware on whom your friends list is.

Another way is to make yourself aware on how to check the creation date of a profile before interacting with it. Below is what my own profile looks like from a Public Perspective. Notice the highlight in yellow?

So there you have it. Cloning isn’t some new thing to float around Facebook, it’s been going on for years as this 4 year old post shows from Facebook’s help community section.

So before accepting any old person on your profile, it’s a good idea to confirm the name and join date of the profile. If in doubt, just block it. After all, if you genuinely know the person, they’ll have other means to contact you.

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