Tuesday, April 21, 2009

In my Inbox today... A Facebook warning on adding possible hackers

I received a message today in my Facebook Inbox... warning me... and asking me to "tell all my friends... and all my contacts" not to add someone.... well an email address actually!

The message read:

"Tell all your contacts not 2 accept dr3am_rock@hotmail.com ... he will pirate your computer and if one of your contacts accepts, he also hack in2 yours! Make fast it is moving..."
This is the second such message I've received over the last couple of days. The message has also been posted on the 'Facebook Wall' by at least one of my contacts too.

I receive many of these warning in my email inbox every week... asking me to forward them urgently to all my contacts.

Which is all very nice... that some people want to make the effort to warn others about these dangerous people... hackers and / or viruses etc. On the other hand, you might think some people have nothing better to do?

But... there are all sorts of possible dangers lurking round every corner on the net... so perhaps it is worth warning or checking these out?

The reality is that nearly ALL these warning emails are hoaxes.... and if people trouble to check with sites like Hoax-Slayer (see more on Hoax-Slayer below) they will probably find that email warning has already been debunked as a hoax!

Notwithstanding that... ask yourselves some questions when you next receive this type of warning email.

The first thing that occurs to me about this warning today (on Facebook), apart from going to Hoax-Slayer to check it out... was... how do we know the person whose email address this belongs to... is really a hacker? Has anyone verified this? rolleyes For all we know... this warning may have been a malicious attempt by someone to mess up this person's email and probably get this person into a lot of hot water!

Nevertheless... many users on Facebook, over the last couple of days... have been forwarding this warning along quite merrily! I wonder if they've given this possibility any thought!??

The second thing that goes through my mind is.... do we really still need to be told NOT to add people we 'don't know from Adam'? Are there really still people out there who accept 'Add' requests from people they don't know?? rolleyes

To my mind... anyone who is stupid enough to add people they have never had any contact with before... probably deserve everything they get... a sharp lesson in what not to do again on the internet!

Maybe I'm being a little too harsh... but honestly!! rolleyes

Anyhow... for 'newbies' to the internet and social networking sites or instant messaging systems.... be warned... the best advice is... NEVER add people you don't know!

If you ever receive an 'Add Request' from someone you don't know... and I constantly receive many (at times from people I've never ever heard of before), just take a moment to ask them why they want you to add them... ask them to explain themselves. Nine times out of ten... they probably have a good and totally legitimate reason for asking.... but... be very wary of the reply... and think carefully before you DO add them... as you never know what you're going to get! If in any doubt... DO NOT ADD them... quite simple really!

Oh and it really does help if one keeps one's wits about us a little.... as we stumble around the net! Another problem with the warning I received on Facebook today is... that it rather puts the cart before the horse.... in this case possibly a 'Trojan'!

The message warned not to add a person with the email address of dr3am_rock@hotmail.com. The trouble is... on Facebook anyway... users cannot see other users' email addresses... until you have added each other! By which time... if the other user IS a hacker... or intent on doing you some damage or disfavour in any way... by the time you go and check if his email address matches the one you WERE warned about... it really is too late! redface

My point being that this message which is doing the rounds on Facebook right now... like many... is a bit silly... a very pointless and at the end of the day... totally ineffective exercise.... that has only served in giving me the opportunity... to rant on!!

Well... then again, if I manage to warn at least one person with this post, about these sorts of dangers lurking on the net... then I suppose (hope) the exercise will not have been entirely worthless! smile

Check @ Hoax-Slayer

One final little tip. I mentioned Hoax-Slayer earlier. Well, whenever you receive a warning email like this... before you do anything... it may well often be worth your while to pay Hoax-Slayer a little visit!

Hoax-Slayer is dedicated to debunking email hoaxes, thwarting Internet scammers, combating spam, and educating web users about email and Internet security issues.

Hoax-Slayer allows Internet users to check the veracity of common email hoaxes and aims to counteract criminal activity by publishing information about common types of Internet scams.

Hoax-Slayer also includes anti-spam tips, computer and email security information, articles about true email forwards, and much more. New articles are added to the Hoax-Slayer website every week. I would recommend you bookmark this link. It could save you and your Facebook or other contacts... a lot of trouble and anxiety in the future!

This particular warning message for dr3am_rock@hotmail.com is not in their database... I checked... at least it's not there yet! But... in any case, it's probably rubbish anyway if you ask me... but it has gone far and wide across the internet already! rolleyes