Just a few days ago, I cautioned that social networking is not a popularity contest. Just because someone asks to be your “friend” doesn’t mean that you should automatically agree. Apparently we need to share that message again as a new study by IT security firm Sophos reveals 41% if Facebook users gave up full access to their personal information to a fake user.
Sophos created a fake Facebook profile, under the name ‘Freddi Staur’ (‘ID Fraudster’ with the letters rearranged), and randomly requested 200 members to be friends with ‘Freddi.’ Out of those 200, 87 accepted the friend request and 82 of those gave ‘Freddi’ access to “personal information” such as e-mail addresses, dates of birth, addresses and phone numbers, and school or work data. Presumably, the other five had restricted ‘Freddi’ to limited profile access, which many users select for bosses, parents, or people they don’t know in real life.