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Do you have fake friends?

I just read a fascinating blog post about a guy who exposed a “poser” on Facebook. Seems that he befriended this person without really knowing much about her other than the fact that she seemed to be friends with many of his friends, so he accepted her as his own. But something didn’t sit right with him, so he did a little investigating. Great stuff!

Do you accept friend requests from people you don’t know? I have. But in my case I fear that my brain cells are growing too old to remember friends of friends. After reading the article I did a little purging–just two or three names–and I feel a little better.

Why should we be careful about who we accept as Facebook friends? Because there are some out there who are building fake personas with hundreds of friends like you and me who prematurely hit the “confirm” button based on our friends who did the same. And those fake people have loads of access to your personal information–the stuff you’d only ever share with your friends.

What do they do with this info? In some cases they “mine” your posts for keywords like “moving,”  “new job,” “relocation,” “real estate,” and the like. Then magically, a marketing mailer ends up in your email or your home mailbox.  In other darker instances, they look for those special times when you post from Maui or the Friday night game and they visit your empty home.

You’re going to check your friends list now, aren’t you?

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