Facebook has changed in a BIG way… Update your security settings!

Are you a Facebook users? Because if you are, you have likely noticed a significant number of changes to the platform during recent months. The user interface has had a massive overhaul. The way you interact in groups has changed, with tagging of posts and "featured" posts now available. Facebook has become heavily intertwined with other social media sites, like Instagram (both platforms owned by Meta). Public pages are now being treated as though they were profiles of their own. And the list goes on.

All of these changes are things that you can see; they're on the surface. But it's the stuff that's under the hood that can open up our accounts to external attacks if we're not careful.

Today, I'm going to highlight some of the security features hiding in the backend of the site (the parts that we don't often dive into) and show you some of the things that you might want to do to protect your accounts.

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Guilty

Should Social Media be an Adult-Only Zone?

Every so often, I encounter another teenage nightmare unfolding on the internet. It starts out innocent, but as the social media machine takes over, it's an avalanche that threatens to bury everyone alive. And I sit on the sidelines, watching all the chaos as society spirals down into another hate-fest.

For years, I've been obsessed with how social media has taken such a hold of our everyday lives. The writer in me is watching every worst-case scenario play out within the digital world, and I keep asking how it could get worse. (Because as any writer can tell you, it can always get worse.)

In the beginning, social media was a brilliant concept. It was a place where people could connect with each other and form working relationships with people who were on the other side of the planet. But as its popularity grew and more people flocked to various platforms, the social dynamics changed. In some cases, the interactions descended into a toxic cesspit needing a HazMat suit with breathing apparatus to even enter. At which point, another platform would seem to spring forth with the promise of a safe-and-inclusive environment.

Regardless of what social media has become, social media and the internet form a huge part of the world we now live in. My children have never known a life where the internet didn't exist—and my oldest is now in his 20s.

Two decades. So much of our world has changed in those two decades.

So, when I see the teenage nightmares unfolding on social media, it's not surprising to me that there is an outcry of people wanting to make social media an adult-only zone. I can understand where the viewpoints are coming from that want to classify social media usage in the same way we do alcohol and driving. But as the number of these negative events grow—sometimes, resulting in the death of yet another teen—there is only one thought that goes through my mind:

Where are the parents teaching their children how to socially behave on the internet?

If you're willing to stick around, I'll do the best I can to explain why I feel that the deplorable nature of social media is actually the responsibility of parents and how I went about teaching my children to cope with the social media cesspit.

It's an interesting tale, involving Scouts, my children, my writing, and my obsession with social media and online behavior.

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How wide spread is your email address?

There is no question about it, internet scammers are morons.

On a frequent enough basis to be noticed, I get an email from some scammer trying to get me to click a link, send them money, or send them bitcoin—or anything else that they want me to do. And 9 times out of 10, they are badly worded, trying to sound official, but really have no clue about how English grammar actually works.

And they expect "me" to fall for the scam?

I will grant you that I'm not your typical internet user. I know better. And I know the tricks of the game that your average internet user doesn't know.

But seriously, dudes, you could at least learn how to use MS Word's grammar checker. I know it's not the best, but at least it would deal with the lack of capitalizations in your emails.

While I can spot the scammer a mile away, there will be many unsuspecting people out there who will be gullible enough to fall for the scam. It may be only one in 10,000 people, but it's statistically significant enough for the scammers to keep doing it.

And a scammer's favorite playground is email. Far too many people get emails and blindly click on the links without understanding what they're clicking on.

Of course, the first question that people ask is how did the scammer get your email in the first place. Well, let me tell you exactly how they got it.

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We Let the Strangers In: The Hunting Trolls

Anyone who has ever worked on social media will know what the troll behavior is like. The trolls are the people who seem to take pleasure out of creating animosity and hatred. They will say things to provoke a reaction. And when they catch someone in their sights, they decide it's time to play.

The best advice that anyone can be given when it comes to dealing with trolls is to just ignore them. Most of the time, if you don't entertain them, they will give up and move on.

But there is a rare breed of troll who develops a vendetta—and no amount of ignoring them will make them go away. The trolls see something in you that makes them think that you're vulnerable and they attack. And they keep attacking until you finally break down.

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Social Media Realignment Experiment 2.0

The first step in dealing with any addiction is to recognize that you have a problem. So…

"Hi, my name is Judy, and I'm addicted to social media."

Social media and I have weird relationship, and yes, addiction is part of that. I'm obsessed with understanding how security works on the platforms, but the moment I'm in there…

"Oh, look… Some useless post about red carpet fashion disasters… or the latest chaos among the British royal family… or how the children of stars look like their parents."

I'm a sucker for the meaningless and boring… and there just went my precious writing time.

Back in July 2020, I posted about the Social Media Realignment Experiment. It was an attempt to realign my social media usage to my professional goals. Quitting all social media wasn't an option for me, but my everyday usage was out of control.

However, in the original experiment, I was too vague on what I wanted to achieve. So, it's time to kick the Social Media Realignment Experiment into Version 2.0.

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