Facebook Pages Hijacked to Increase Security Awareness

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I've lost count of how many times I have written or read about social media and security or privacy issues. Yet similar discussions are still popping up everywhere. Whether users don't really think about security or hackers are just getting smarter about how they do things, or both, security and privacy concerns about social networking always abound.


Wednesday, for instance, PCWorld.com reported that members of a group called Control Your Info have hijacked a number of group pages on Facebook in an effort to demonstrate how easily others can gain control of personal information that social media users make available. Writer Ellen Messmer explains:

With a link back to a site, the apparent members...began leaving their mark on various Facebook groups intended for topics that include entertainment, business and sports. The Control Your Info statements declared: "This means we control a certain part of the information about you in Facebook. If we wanted, we could make you appear in a bad way which could damage you severely."

Facebook, on the other hand, denies the hijacks happened at all according to ZDNet UK, and says, in a statement:

There has been no hijacking and there is no confidential information at risk. The groups in question have been abandoned by their previous owners, which means any group member has the option to make themselves an administrator in order to continue communication to the group.

On the Control Your Info Web site, the group says it planned to restore all the information changed on the Facebook groups, but it was banned from Facebook for breaking the terms of service. It does not, however, seem to regret its choices, saying only:

If we wouldn't have communicated this way, our message would probably have fallen into oblivion the moment it got out.

The Control Your Info site offers tips for controlling your personal information online -- such as limiting the access that some of your "not so close" friends have to your info, or staying away from groups that are public and have no administrator because, after all, "they can be taken over by anyone at anytime."