This particular Facebook privacy settings hoax never dies. It has been repackaged, reworded, and resurrected numerous times. Here are some examples of the recent Facebook privacy hoaxes and how they are worded differently.
WARNING!!! FACEBOOK HAS CHANGED THEIR PRIVACY SETTINGS ONCE MORE!!! DUE TO THE NEW “GRAPH APP” ANYONE ON FACEBOOK (INCLUDING OTHER COUNTRIES) CAN SEE YOUR PICTURES, LIKES, AND COMMENTS. The next 2 weeks I will be posting this, and please once you have done it please post DONE! Those of you who do not keep my information from going out to the public, I will have to DELETE YOU! I want to stay PRIVATELY connected with you. I post shots of my family that I don't want strangers to have access to!!! This happens when our friends click "like" or "comment"... automatically, their friends would see our posts too. Unfortunately, we cannot change this setting by ourselves because Facebook has configured it that way. PLEASE place your mouse over my name above (DO NOT CLICK), a window will appear, now move the mouse on “FRIENDS" (also without clicking), then down to "Settings", click here and a list will appear. REMOVE the CHECK on "LIFE EVENTS" and "COMMENTS & LIKES". By doing this, my activity among my friends and family will no longer become public. Now, copy and paste this on your wall. Once I see this posted on your page, I will do the same.
DUE TO THE NEW “GRAPH APP” ANYONE ON FACEBOOK (INCLUDING OTHER COUNTRIES) CAN SEE YOUR PICTURES, LIKES, AND COMMENTS. The next 2 weeks I will be posting this, and please once you have done it please post DONE! Those of you who do not keep my information from going out to the public, I will have to delete you. I want to stay PRIVATELY connected with you. I post shots of my family that ...I don't want strangers to have access to!!! This happens when our friends click "like" or "comment"... automatically, their friends would see our posts too. Unfortunately, we cannot change this setting by ourselves because Facebook has configured it that way. PLEASE place your mouse over my name above (DO NOT CLICK), a window will appear, now move the mouse on “FRIENDS" (also without clicking), then down to "Settings", click here and a list will appear. REMOVE the CHECK on "LIFE EVENTS" and "COMMENTS & LIKES". By doing this, my activity among my friends and family will no longer become public. Now, copy and paste this on your wall. Once I see this posted on your page, I will do the same. THANK YOU
“To all my FB friends, may I request you to please do something for me: I want to stay PRIVATELY connected with you. However, with the recent changes in FB, the public can now see activities in any wall. This happens when our friends hit “like” or “comment”, automatically, their friends would see our posts too. Unfortunately, we cannot change this setting by ourselves because Facebook has configured it this way. So I need your help. Only you can do this for me. PLEASE place your mouse over my name above (do not click), a window will appear, now move the mouse on “FRIENDS” (also without clicking), then down to “Settings”, click here and a list will appear. REMOVE the CHECK on “COMMENTS & LIKE” by clicking on it. By doing this, my activity amongst my friends and my family will no longer become public. Many thanks! Paste this on your wall so your contacts would follow suit too, that is, if you care about your privacy.”
ATTENTION ALL MY CONTACTS With changes in FB, everyone can now access information from persons who are not in contacts. All that is needed is for this person who is not in your list of friends to comment or click on “like” to access your information. I do not want people that I have not selected as contacts on FB to access my information but I can’t change it myself. ……I ask you, therefore, to point the mouse on my name above (Don’t click), wait for the pop up, point the mouse again on “friends” (Don’t click). Then click on “settings” and remove the check mark in “Comments and Like”. Thus, my activity will no longer be in the public domain. Thank you!
Alternative Message (July 2013):
Hello to all of you who are on my list of contacts of Facebook. I would like to ask a favor of you…. You may not know that Facebook has changed its privacy configuration once again. Thanks to the new “Graphic app”, any person in Facebook anywhere in the world can see our photos, our “likes” and our “comments”. During the next two weeks, I am going to keep this message posted and I ask you to do the following and comment “DONE”. Those of my friends who do not maintain my information in private will be eliminated from my list of friends, because I want the information I share with you, my friends, to remain among my friends and not be available to the whole world. I want to be able to publish photos of my friends and family without strangers being able to see them which is what happens now when you choose “like” or “comment”. Unfortunately we cannot change this configuration because Facebook has made it like this. So, please, place your cursor over my photo that appears in this box (without clicking) and a window will open. Now move the cursor to the word “Friends”, again without clicking and then on “Settings”. Uncheck “Life Events” and “Comments and Like” and "Photos". This way my activity with my family and friends will no longer be made public. Now, copy and paste this text on your own wall (do not “share” it!). Once I see it published on your page, I will un-check the same for you. Thanks so much
Alternative message (September 2015):
These messages contain very inaccurate information. There has not been recent changes to Facebook that allows the public to see activities on any wall. The privacy and sharing controls of the person sharing the item on Facebook determines the audience.
If you follow the instructions in the message, you won’t be protecting your privacy or the privacy of your Facebook friend(s). The only thing you’ll be doing is unsubscribing from your particular Facebook friend’s comments and likes… You will no longer be able to see what they say on Facebook, this kind of defeats the purpose Facebook friends in the first place.
Some of these Privacy Settings scams may also initiate the installment of malware on a computer, most notably browser hijackers that primarily change internet browser settings or hijack Facebook accounts, as well as entrap Facebook users to unethical terms.
Protecting your Facebook privacy
The best thing you and your friends can do to protect your privacy is to set all of your privacy and sharing settings to friends only. Sharing with “friends of friends” is not recommended as the setting can potentially expose your post to a large quantity of people!
Additional Facebook privacy information and tips:
- If you comment or like Facebook posts, comments, images, and other items that are public or set to “friends of friends” by the uploader (opposed to “friends only”) then your Facebook comments and likes are exposed to everyone who can view the public or F.O.F. Facebook item.
- Check the facts before you share information on Facebook. Spreading false information does not help anyone and can give your friends a false sense of security. False information can possibly lead to potential harm to the individual or their computer system. Always spend a few minutes and check the facts before passing along warnings such as this fake Facebook privacy warning to your friends. Aside from Facebook hoaxes and scams, compromised or misleading posts and links shared on Facebook is one of the most common ways malware is spread.
- If you or your Facebook friends are falling for scams like this, inform them. If you recently posted a “compromised” link or compromised instructions, including details about fake Facebook privacy settings, or if your friend’s account has posted potentially harmful it is important to let your friends know in order to protect themselves and raise awareness of such common Facebook hoaxes.
- Join the excellent Facecrook community (non-affiliated) or Botcrawl community on Facebook to be keep informed of the latest security issues.
Malware detection and removal
If you believe your computer is infected with malware, here are some steps to detect and remove additional computer viruses and malware using the free or full version of Malwarebytes Anti-Malware software.
1. Install the free or paid version of Malwarebytes Anti-Malware.
2. Once Malwarebytes is installed, run the program. If you are using the free version of Malwarebytes you will be prompted to update the database, make sure to do so.
3. On the first tab labeled “Scanner” select the Perform full scan option and click the Scan button to perform a full system scan. Malwarebytes will automatically detect malware infecting the computer system.
4. Once the malware scan is complete, Malwarebytes may prompt a notice stating malicious objects were detected. Select the malicious objects and click the Remove Selected button to completely remove the malicious files from your computer (the image below shows a file that is NOT selected) or click the Delete button to remove quarantined files.
Malwarebytes Anti-Malware is real time malware removal software that will defend a computer against the most severe forms of malware.
BitDefender Safego is a Facebook application you can install that will scan your News Feed and help keep you safe from scams on Facebook.
PRIVATE WiFi® is a Personal VPN that encrypts everything you send and receive. Don’t access Facebook from a public WiFi hotspot without it.
Do Not Track + is a FREE browser plugin created by Abine. This easy to install plugin keeps websites from tracking you. If you value your online privacy, then you should definitely take advantage of this free product.
Action Alert | Free Parental Control offers a 100% free Internet safety solution designed for parents. There is also a Maximum Protection option for parents that need a more advanced set of tools.