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Saints' Discussion Forums  |  Forums  |  Technical Support  |  Topic: Warning about Internet Sites and Identity Theft / Misuse 0 Members and 1 Guest are viewing this topic. « previous next »
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Author Topic: Warning about Internet Sites and Identity Theft / Misuse  (Read 9792 times)
Shin
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« on: February 05, 2011, 10:08:33 AM »

I was reading in the news the other day that Facebook, the popular social networking site, has had its public information acquired and misused.

250,000 people have become unwittingly members of an online dating service. The service took people's information from Facebook and created accounts on its own website.

This is the new trend for people trying to make money off of the Internet.

As the article put it:

"How does a unknown dating site, with the absurd intention of destroying Facebook, launch with 250,000 member profiles on the first day?

Simple.

You scrape data from Facebook.

At least, that’s the approach taken by two provocateurs who launched. . . this week, with profiles — names, locations and photos — scraped from publicly accessible Facebook pages. The site categorizes these unwitting volunteers into personality types, using a facial recognition algorithm, so you can search for someone in your general area who is “easy going,” “smug” or “sly.”

Or you can just search on people’s real names."


I just want to warn people about this in general. This appears to be a new trend on the Internet, websites taking your public information and creating a userID and account for you on the website without your permission.

It's not uncommon, it's the latest abuse. It should become more and more common in the future.

They will use your actual email address and real name, address, all the information they can gather, if your picture is online they will use that too -- and create an account. Then 'you' will become the unwitting member of a service you did not request.

This of course is going to create problems. People do not want to find themselves on dating services like this -- potentially this can destroy marriages, for example, tarnish reputations, etc. as spouses, family members, etc. discover 'you' apparently searching for dates.

You'll likely ask, well what can I do to prevent it?

As far as I can figure out. . .

Very little. You should of course be careful about giving out your information except when necessary however. . .

.  . .  I'm afraid it's pretty impossible to exempt yourself from this kind of bad behavior. Why?

Whether it's the online white pages, online shopping, government information websites, your personal or social networking online, your information is out there, and removing all of it is fairly close to impossible.

Even if you've never spent a day on the Internet, your information is likely online already.

So simply be aware that this is going on.
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'Flores apparuerunt in terra nostra. . . Fulcite me floribus. (The flowers appear on the earth. . . stay me up with flowers. Sg 2:12,5)
Brigid
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« Reply #1 on: February 05, 2011, 02:43:43 PM »

That must have been the other account I "had" on Amazon the other day. Does this mean getting credit reports once a month?
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Shin
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« Reply #2 on: February 05, 2011, 02:49:17 PM »

That must have been the other account I "had" on Amazon the other day. Does this mean getting credit reports once a month?

Well, possibly, Brigid, though from what little you've said I think what you're citing here could also be just fake emails, and not real accounts for actual services made without your permission. Normally you get all sorts of advertisements -pretending- you have an account here, an account there, so that when you click on them, you then fill out the information and these people acquire your information and perhaps try to steal your money.

All sorts of fake emails -guessing- you might have an account with some service are often sent out, asking for you to login, with your password, so then they can acquire that from you and make ill use of your real account.

But the novelty in the first post's described approach is the creation of actual accounts, on actual services that function.

When I get an email regarding an account I already have, if I am not expecting it, and even if I am at times, I will not actually click through the email to get to the website.

I will go to the website through a search engine, favorites, or by typing in the website's name instead.

That way, if the email was a fake that would redirect me to a false website pretending to be the service, such as an online bookstore I might tend to use, I have escaped any such trap.

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« Reply #3 on: February 05, 2011, 02:55:30 PM »

Re: Credit reports once a month.. I can get credit reporting services advertising that way in my email at times if that's what you mean? They want you to sign up..  Cheesy
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« Reply #4 on: February 05, 2011, 03:02:20 PM »

It seems it must have been a fake account (although set up with just my email and their own password) since the password I put in "didn't match"and the account was there already - I had to create a new account. I don't go on there without putting in my own password, even tho' it doesn't require that I do.
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« Reply #5 on: February 05, 2011, 03:07:03 PM »

It seems it must have been a fake account (although set up with just my email and their own password) since the password I put in "didn't match"and the account was there already - I had to create a new account. I don't go on there without putting in my own password, even tho' it doesn't require that I do.

Yes, that's the clue, the password!
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« Reply #6 on: February 05, 2011, 03:28:25 PM »

I was on facebook for a while as I have nieces and nephews in different parts of the world and it was a good way of keeping track what was going on in their lives. However I got a bad feeling about it one night and I closed down my account. I just email them now and keep in touch that way.

There's something sinister about facebook or maybe it's just my imagination.  irishwisdom
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« Reply #7 on: February 05, 2011, 03:34:12 PM »

I was on facebook for a while as I have nieces and nephews in different parts of the world and it was a good way of keeping track what was going on in their lives. However I got a bad feeling about it one night and I closed down my account. I just email them now and keep in touch that way.

There's something sinister about facebook or maybe it's just my imagination.  irishwisdom

I resisted Facebook forever, until when I was searching the web about Carthusians, I found this guy on it who had tried out for the Carthusians, gone through the whole vocational experience there and I wanted to email him and ask him about how to prepare for it -- that was the opportunity I could not resist!

So I signed up with only part of my name, and minimal info just to contact him, got him to talk to me outside of Facebook, and that was that.

It was difficult to get through to him as Facebook wanted a phone number to confirm my info, and started locking me out until I added that to the account -- I refused to give it to them -- eventually I got to login despite this long enough to get through to him. Oh, I suppose I could've used a throw away cell phone #, but even that would've been a waste of money.

The fellow gave me some good information, thanks be to God. Thermals, work boots, warm pants.. and be prepared to have difficultly learning to heat your cell with a wood stove for awhile, amongst other info.  Cheesy
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« Reply #8 on: February 05, 2011, 04:42:57 PM »

I've gone on there - facebook - with false info, gotten an account and get to see pictures of my daughter and her little ones (more than I would otherwise).
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Patricia
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« Reply #9 on: February 06, 2011, 12:10:48 PM »

Quote
When I get an email regarding an account I already have, if I am not expecting it, and even if I am at times, I will not actually click through the email to get to the website.

Thanks for that tip, Shin.

I just got a FB account to keep in touch with relatives, but Martin is right. I feel uncomfortable when I'm on and I feel free to speak only when I'm on the Saintsforum.
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« Reply #10 on: February 06, 2011, 04:10:46 PM »

You, Shin, make Saints Forum as safe as you can and we really, really appreciate it!!!!! crucifix
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« Reply #11 on: February 07, 2011, 05:24:39 PM »

My philosophy is that there is no way to make anything safe.  I looked my name up on google and found my home address for all to see!  Online white pages. 
I tried getting a cash bought debit card for an online purchase and found out they require my name, address, phone.  Why?  Laws changed after 9/11.  Big daddy needs a trace always.

So, I figure there is nothing to be done and so everything  I don't want known is not seen.  Unfortunately, our sons have facebook and post all kinds of hockey and  long boarding adventures on them.  shrug
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Brigid
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« Reply #12 on: February 07, 2011, 05:50:34 PM »

If everything is on the internet anyway - why be scared now, I suppose shrug It's a done deal.
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« Reply #13 on: February 07, 2011, 05:58:29 PM »

Woo-hoo, I'm not on the first 5 pages of Google. I don't know about the other search engines, but I often give somewhat false info.
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« Reply #14 on: February 16, 2011, 10:37:00 PM »

This is one reason why I chose this forum over some others such as Catholic.org which (as I understand) require divulging real-world information beyond an email address. Despite all of the security measures one could take, someone who wants in can often find a way to get in, and this is true of any server or site. Hence it is best to keep a low profile.
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