The folks at Facebook would rather have kept this hack quiet, since they have been fighting growing criticism for some of the recent changes they have made. But on Sunday, board member Jim Breyer sent out a message to some 2,301 of his friends that stated:

“Would You Like a Facebook Phone Number?” it asked, presenting a link to “see more details and RSVP.”

There was just one minor problem. Mr. Breyer was not the true sender of the message since it was later learned that his account had been hacked. But does anyone really believe that any social networking site could be hack proof? I never did. So when Facebook responded with these statements, it made me wonder just how secure its servers really are.

We take security very seriously and have devoted significant resources towards helping our users protect their accounts.  We’ve developed complex automated systems that detect and flag Facebook accounts that are likely to be compromised (based on anomalous activity like lots of messages sent in a short period of time, or messages with links that are known to be bad).  Because Facebook is a closed system, we have a tremendous advantage over email.  That is, once we detect a phony message, we can delete that message in all inboxes across the site.  We also block malicious links from being shared and work with third parties to get phishing and malware sites added to browser blacklists or taken down completely.  Users whose accounts have been compromised are put through a remediation process, where they must take steps to re-secure their account and learn security best practices.  This is what happened with Mr. Breyer’s account.

I have chosen to stay away from Facebook. My family all have joined in on the fun, but I have personally decided to avoid it. My time is of value to me and I would rather dedicate my mind to enhancing it, not turning it to Jell-O!

Do you feel safe using Facebook? If so, why?

Comments welcome.


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