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Facebook Messaging Glitch Raises Fresh Privacy Concerns

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jw

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Facebook Messaging Glitch Raises Fresh Privacy Concerns

By: Nathan Eddy
2010-02-26

Social networking behemoth Facebook reported a glitch in a software update that caused users' private messages to land in the wrong in-boxes, stoking new fears over the site's security.

The ubiquitous social networking site Facebook says a technical glitch resulted in the Website temporarily sending private messages to the wrong users’ inboxes.

A Facebook spokesperson released a statement via e-mail acknowledging the problem and explained that while the problem was being fixed, the affected users were not able to access the site. "During our regular code push yesterday evening, a bug caused some misrouting to a small number of users for a short period of time," the statement read. "Our engineers diagnosed the problem moments after it began and worked diligently to get everything back in its rightful place.”

The statement did not include specifics on how widespread the problem was or how long it took the company to fix the hiccup.
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The incident puts Facebook back in the security spotlight as questions are again raised regarding the level of security and privacy of its users’ accounts. In November 2009, researchers at Symantec found a Trojan that uses Facebook to communicate with a command and control server. The malware works by contacting the mobile version of Facebook and using its Notes section.

Increasing scrutiny led to the adoption of updated privacy controls in December 2009, again drawing a mix of criticism and support. These features include the ability to control who sees what piece of content on a user’s page, a Transition Tool and simplified privacy settings. Facebook also rolled out a Publisher Privacy Control, which enables users to select a privacy setting for every post they make at the time they create it. In addition, the company eliminated regional networks in favor of four basic control settings—friends, friends of friends, everyone and customized.

As social networking sites like Facebook, LinkedIn and Twitter continue to grow in popularity, there is a fear in the business community that their security is being threatened. Earlier this month, IT security and data protection firm Sophos released the results of a survey indicating an “alarming rise” in attacks on users of social networks. Sophos surveyed more than 500 organizations, and discovered 72 percent are concerned employee behavior on social networking sites exposes their businesses to danger and puts corporate infrastructure—and the sensitive data stored on it—at risk.

Facebook was the most feared of all, with 60 percent naming the network—by far the largest, with 350 million users—as posing the greatest security risk. The company’s Threat Report also reveals that 49 percent of firms allow all their staff unfettered access to Facebook, a 13 percent rise from a year ago.

"The grim irony is that just as companies are loosening their attitude to staff activity on social networks, the threat of malware, spam, phishing and identity theft on Facebook is increasing," said Sophos Senior Technology Consultant Graham Cluley. "However, social networks can be an essential part of the business mix today, and the answer is not to bar staff from participating in them but to apply some 'social security' instead."


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Esther


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Guess I'm going to have to stop sending my checking account info around in PMs.


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Esther wrote:Guess I'm going to have to stop sending my checking account info around in PMs.

That's what I was thinkin'!! ex[giggle]

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bullfrog

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I never got Facebook, just don't see the draw.


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rosebud

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Me either, Bullfrog. If I want to chat with my friends, I have AIM instant messaging.

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Esther


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On my facebook I have 175 "friends". They may be neighbors, family, people from church, previous acquaintances, previous work friends, forum friends, and friends/relatives of family. Facebook allows you to choose if you want just the friends to see what you have to say or anyone. I am able to see what is going on in the lives of all 175 friends when and if I want. I can make a quick comment to one or 50 if I want. I can view pictures they post and not say a thing but see how their vacations went and the funny costumes the kids had for Halloween. I can post pictures to albums there directly from my computer. I can send private messages to anyone. I can contact several people with the same message. For instance the other day after Pete installed my "over the stove" microwave, I messaged JUST our 5 kids and asked them if they wanted it, all at the same time. I can make up a group like our close friends and family who we invite to our summer car party and keep them apprised of when and where etc. I did the same thing with our cousin party. People use the groups or a page for special interest stuff like hobbies or a favorite restaurant. If somebody gets mouthy, you can block them.
There are absolutely gobs of games and fun things to do. A lot of the games allow you to interact with other people to help them with the game or hinder them from doing well. Some are word games, some are Mafia wars (have no idea) some are farm type, some put together a home in the city and decorate it, some have something to do with a cafe and cooking. It has a one on one chat capability.
I have only done one game and it was called Farmtown. You were given a piece of property and a little money and you bought seeds to plant and when the stuff grew in a few days, you harvested it, went to market and sold it to get more money to buy more seeds, buildings, animals etc. When you were at the market, you could hire other people to harvest for you or work for them. People would chat while they waited to get hired. It has been several months since I was working mine so it may have changed since then.
So you see, it is quite different from a forum.


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jw

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So which of your kids got the microwave? ex[giggle] I like Facebook, I'm just leary of all those apps so I don't do them. I have my privacy settings set pretty tight I think anyway..........it's hard to figure out sometimes. With all the forums I visit now and then and the work around this place I find it hard to keep up w/ it all


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Esther


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Kevin my oldest (41)works for Radio Bible Class. They produce different Christian radio programs and a TV show called Day of Discovery. They also publish a daily devotional called Our Daily Bread, Christian books and Christian music CDs. A while back he was producer of a 30 minute radio show, called Walk in the Word, but it ended up being sold back to it's original company in Chicago and he didn't want to move there.

Anyway, he said they could use the microwave at work. I don't know if he wanted it for his office or if they needed it in the lunchroom. I can't see that the company wouldn't furnish it in the lunchroom. It is a big place.

He will be going to Israel soon on a photo shoot. Because of Braeden's health, he hasn't been in about 3 years.



Last edited by Esther on Wed Mar 03, 2010 11:14 am; edited 1 time in total


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jw

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I think I remember my grandmother getting Our Daily Bread way back in the 50's. I wonder if it's the same little booklet


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Lari

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jw wrote:I like Facebook, I'm just leary of all those apps so I don't do them. it's hard to figure out sometimes. With all the forums I visit now and then and the work around this place I find it hard to keep up w/ it all

I have the same trouble with facebook. I actually was thinking I was getting the hang of it, then they upgraded and now I can't even find my complete friends list anymore. I've had a couple wierd things happened where when I tried to click on a picture of one of my friends I've suddenly got something trying to load a program on my computer too. I don't do any of the games. Just don't have the time to bother trying to learn them. And when I see my friends ranting about them being so slow I think to myself that I just don't need the frustration anyway. ex[pillow]

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Esther


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I don't game now either. I did for a while with Farm Town. At first it was speedy but I think the more little doodads/graphics you get on your page, the more it slows down and has trouble. I'm not a game person anyway. I might do a few applications but only as a favor to somebody and then I delete them. But some people are doing games and applications all the time. At first when people sent an invitation to do an application, I did them all but then I posted a "I don't do applications. So don't bother sending them." So now I don't feel guilty when I don't do them. Everybody is different as to the time available to them and how they choose to use their time. I like being able to keep in contact with people I know personally. Otherwise I wouldn't take the time to call them or even email them.

As with anything else that changes, we have to bother to figure out what they've done to us now. The friends list is on the left now. If you have grouped them according to their connection--IE family, work, church, or whatever, you will now be able to bring up that group by itself.


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Bartender

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I love the connections, or should I say re-connections I've made through FB. In some ways, it's like life has come full circle with people in my life. We went our own ways to become who/what we needed to, and now that we've had a chance to mature and (hopefully) figure that out, we are once again back together.

I don't do any of the FB games, and I have always been leery of the applications. I would suggest that if someone were even considering getting on FB, to make certain that you have a top notch virus protection program.

Even though I admit I am somewhat addicted to FB, I still love my forum families. I feel there is/was a reason we were all led to each other, and I appreciate that so much. I tend to post much more intimate details of my life on a forum than I do on FB.

I say to each his/her own. But, just remember, if you are reading this...you are STUCK with ME!!! Hehehe

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jw

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And we are Happy to be stuck w/ you Bartender ex[hug]


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