Is your life an open 'FACE' book? - WALB.com, Albany News, Weather, Sports

Is your life an open 'FACE' book?

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George Samuel Bronk is now in jail in California (Source: Newstodaynews.com) George Samuel Bronk is now in jail in California (Source: Newstodaynews.com)

Cincinnati, OH - (WXIX) - You've probably put a pretty good password on your online venues to keep them safe, but it doesn't take much to reset those passwords.

You know those secret questions you use to do it. Thanks to you and Facebook, they may not be much of a secret at all.

You love to Facebook. To connect with friends, tell them how you are doing now, even show them those pictures of your little dog in her new sweater. The only problem is, with each little fact you put on-line about yourself, you open a door to identity thieves to rip you off or humiliate you.

George Samuel Bronk is now in jail in California after he hacked into the email accounts or hundreds of women. Once he was in, he went through their sent boxes looking for nude or embarrassing pictures they had taken of themselves to send to their husbands or boyfriends.

Once he was in their account, he locked them out. And in the cases where he could, he posted those nude pictures on their Facebook pages as well.

One of his victims likened what happened to her to virtual rape.

So how did he do it? It's really not that hard, and it could easily happen to you.

You've probably put enough info on your Facebook page to give someone access to your email account, what kind of info do you have on Facebook? Your hometown? Your pet's name? What about your family and friends... You have their family and friends?

Do you have where you went to high school or elementary school? Every one of these things is a key to your email account or even your bank account.

When you set up a Gmail account or a yahoo account, or when you set up your online banking, you have to put in certain security questions, for instance, what's your pets name, Your mothers maiden name, where did you go to high school, those security questions are supposed to be private information that only you would know.

That includes things like your birthdate, no one needs to know that.

If you have to change your password, you verify your identity by answering these questions. If you have laid out your entire identity online, just by going through your online profile, a hacker can many times get enough info to get into your accounts and lock you out.

By default when you sign into Facebook there is no security. You have to tighten it down to prevent people and limit people's access to your site.

If you post not only your pictures, but your wife's picture, your kid's picture, a hacker's got pictures of your whole family. They've got hair color, eye color other questions that people ask. They might know your dog's name.

So be careful with your page, but the truth is, limiting info on your page may not be enough. If you make your mom a friend and you have conversations on there, and a hacker checks out your site, they see that your mom is a friend of yours, even if it is not obvious.

If a hacker watches long enough, they figure out she is your mom. He checks out her site and her brother might be her friend, and now he's got your mother's maiden name.

So what can you do to protect your identity?

Many times you can pick your own questions. Pick a question that has nothing that anybody knows.  Pick a question a question that a friend a family member would not bring up in daily 'Facebook' conversation.

It's a good idea but sometimes, you are limited to only certain questions. In that case, Lie. Come up with a standard answer to those questions that you always use, and you know you always use, but nobody else will know.

And because Facebook accounts are linked to email accounts, you should open one email account strictly for Facebook, so that in the event you do get hacked, the hacker won't be able to access multiple accounts.

 

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