I have never been a Facebook fan but I bumped into one more reason to NOT like Facebook. An email arrived that appeared to be from Facebook that notified me of 4 friend requests. Trying to be a good network neighbor, I opened the email. This email was slightly different. It didn’t list all the details of the friend requests but it contained a link to see the details. After I clicked on the link, guess what happened?
AVG, the virus scanner, flagged a security problem. “Blank!” You can substitute an appropriate word to flag an unpleasant surprise. What did I do wrong? I failed to follow my own advice and check the link before I clicked on it. Scammers almost got me but AVG saved me from a major irritation.
A little investigation revealed a disguised email address that was not from Facebook. The link was also destined to a bogus marketing site that attempted to download adware for prescription drugs. You can argue that this wasn’t Facebook’s fault but Facebook had better start thinking about protecting users.
“I never open mail from anyone that I don’t know….” This is a good policy but it is not enough to protect you from an email attack. It is relatively easy to fake email addresses. The email that I received looked very much like the standard Facebook page but it obviously wasn’t what it pretended to be.
The past few weeks have not been very positive for Facebook. My neighbor called me to ask about a fake Facebook that someone had created. The fake Facebook page published some untrue and embarrassing items about my neighbor. Wouldn’t you want something like that removed? Facebook provides little if any help in these situations.
One silicon valley executive discovered that his Facebook identity was stolen. His Facebook information was used to create a Facebook page where he advertised low cost prescription drugs. Facebook actually removed a posting on the real executive’s Facebook page where the executive warned readers about the fake Facebook page. Facebook is willing to do anything to protect its own image but won’t help members.
Facebook needs to change their mode of operation to be that multibillion dollar company that it pretends to be. Having millions of members is not enough to justify a high valuation. Everyone that I know won’t even glance at the advertisements. Will major advertisers follow GM’s move and cancel sponsorship? Where will Facebook be without advertisers?
Since the IPO has not gone very well for Facebook, a lot of dirty little secrets have become public. The future of Facebook is the big question of the decade. If you ask me, Facebook is a Farcebook.