How to prevent your Facebook profile from being “hacked”

cartoonsTaking these simple but important steps can help protect your profile from being cloned. Of course, we know criminals are always one step ahead so if you do find yourself the victim of Facebook identity theft through a cloned profile, please ask your friends to report it to Facebook immediately. Also notify your friends of the fake profile by announcing it in your Facebook status and change your profile picture so your friends can easily identify the difference between the two profiles.

August 3, 2015

“Today we are going to address a different topic than we normally do, and that is the issue of what some people call, “Facebook hacking.” It isn’t truly “hacking” but it can appear as if someone has hacked into your Facebook profile and it is becoming increasingly common in Facebook. Crooks are using this cloning method frequently to prey on unsuspecting victims to obtain information or even money from them. While this topic isn’t specifically financial related, it CAN have financial consequences, which I will explain later.

Hacking vs. Cloning

Most Facebook users have had the experience of logging into their account to find a friend request from someone whom they thought they were already friends with on Facebook. Some people will check their friends list to see if that person is already listed there and recognize that this new request is a fake and ignore the request. However, some people proceed with accepting the friend request without thinking about it. After all, they see the person’s profile picture, city and state where they live, name of employer, etc. and it all matches the person that they know.

Some people think it is the case of their friend’s account actually being “hacked”- someone else obtaining access to their user name and profile and hacking into their account. In reality, what has likely happened is the “hacker” has used the information from a person’s public profile to set up a new fake profile that exactly matches (clones) the legitimate profile. They are probably not friends with that person on Facebook but rather have obtained the information that is viewable by the public. They establish a fake email account through free email services such as Gmail or Yahoo, and then create a fake cloned profile using the exact same information as the real profile- everything from profile picture, hometown, employment, pages they have liked, groups they are in, etc. Then they send the friend request from the fake profile to the real user’s friends (also public information). Once those friends accept the request, the hackers will either send spam messages to these new “friends” or in worse situations, they will try to con them into giving them money, pretending to be that person’s legitimate friend in some kind of dire situation requiring funds be wired.

How to protect yourself

1. Keep your profile private. The easiest way to protect yourself from becoming a victim is simply to limit what information the public can view so they don’t have enough information to create a cloned profile. Your profile picture and cover photo will always be public. Facebook does not allow you to make that private. However, all other information, including your friends list, can be kept completely private or made viewable only to friends. This will need to be done in two separate steps:

– First, make all of the information in your profile private or viewable by friends only by changing all of your settings in Privacy Settings and Tools. First, go into the settings menu by clicking the drop-down arrow on the far right of the blue bar at the top of the screen, then click on Privacy from the menu on the left. Under “Who Can See My Stuff”, you will see “Who can see your future posts?” Click on EDIT and change from Public to Friends. Here is what it looks like:

FB Privacy Settings start

FB Privacy Settings and Tools screenshot

– You will also need to click on your friends list and make that private as well. That way, even if your profile were to be cloned using just your name and profile photo, they will have no way of getting to your friends list. Go back to your profile page and click on Friends. Then click on the pencil icon and select “edit privacy”. Again, change from “public” to “friends”.

FB Friends - edit privacy 1

FB Friends - edit privacy 2

2. Check your own friends list for duplicate friends. If you notice you have a duplicate of any of your Facebook friend profiles, check with your friend outside of Facebook and find out which one is legitimate. Immediately remove the fake profile and report it to Facebook.

3. Never accept a friend request from someone who is already on your friends list unless you receive confirmation directly from them outside of Facebook that it is a legitimate profile.

4. Never ever send money by wire services such as Western Union and MoneyGram to anyone who is requesting it from you by email, Facebook, or any other method that could easily be hacked by someone else, even if you think the request is coming from a friend. Always verify with them directly over the phone or in person.”

Happy Facebooking!



The wasp are already out! DIY Wasp Trap

Remember this during pool season - Fill container with vinegar, sugar and salt to trap wasps... Place these around the yard this year! Share this! You're friends will thank you !

  1. Combine 2 cups of apple cider vinegar, 2 cups of sugar and 1 cup of water in a large bowl. Stir to dessolve the sugar...
  2. Add 1/4 to 1/2 cup of liquid dish soap to the mixture, and stir the mixture gently, preventing bubbles.
  3. Pour most of the mixture into a clean, 2-liter, plastic, soda bottle. Put the remaining mixture in a clean, 16-ounce spray bottle, and add 2 tablespoons of liquid dish soap plus 1/2 cup of water to fill that spray bottle.
  4. Place the 2-liter, plastic, soda bottle, which is a wasp trap, on the ground in an area easily accessible to the wasps. Ensure the area will not be disturbed easily and is away from house entrances. Alternatively, tie a heavy string around the bottle's neck, and use the string to hang the bottle from a tree branch, fence post or railing. The soda bottle's cap must be off so wasps will be attracted to the mixture in the bottle.
  5. Keep the spray bottle containing the mixture with you while you work in the yard, and spray wasps with the mixture as needed. You also can use the spray to kill wasps that come into your house. Additionally, spray small nests that appear on and near the house or a shed, deck or roof. Saturate the wasps and nests thoroughly with the mixture until the wasps stop moving.

Keep in mind that the traps mentioned in this hub are not meant to trap honey bees. Honey bee populations are down and we need them to pollinate our crops. The use of vinegar is meant to repel the bees while still attracting the wasps and hornets.

  • Spilling the mixture on garden plants may kill them due to the vinegar's acidity.
  • The wasp trap will attract and kill other creatures, including beneficial insects.


Hummingbird Feeder: Home Made Mix

One cup of sugar to 4 cups of water.

Migration Map (2016): http://www.hummingbirds.net/map.html


Facebook’s Hidden message Folder:

4-9-2016 1;27;07 PM23

For years I’ve asked if anyone new what happens when you message someone who’s not on your 'Friends List'. Maybe its someone you want to send a message to, but not add to your friends list. Like an ex-girlfriend, ex-bully, or ex-boss.
Or a Republican Winking smile

If you go to their Facebook page of someone not on your friends list you usually have two options ‘Friend’ them or ‘Message’ them, but when you message them do they see it?


I’ve sent messages to people not on my Friends list many times but have never received a message back. It use to be you could ‘poke’ them, but what the hell was that all about?

Well thanks to USA Today we’ve discovered another little known Facebook tidbit. Why do we have to dig for these nuggets of information. Hay Facebook how about a How To website for the rest of us! (Yeah you to Twitter, Microsoft, YouTube, and Android).

I did this and discovered 21 messages that I was unaware of dating back to 2009! I’m going to respond to those messages but the curious thing is: Do any of them know how to open their “Filtered” hidden folder?

Please share this information.




Home Heating Tips:

28_4_9Provided your unit’s in tip-top shape, here are some ideas to make the most of the heat inside your house.
  • Don’t close off vents, especially if you have a furnace. That restricts air flow and makes it harder on the furnace. Leave doors open to allow air to circulate freely through the home and find its way to the return.
  • Keep the blinds open to allow natural heat in, but only if it’s sunny. A cloudy day and open blinds will not help you,
  • Pass on the take-out and cook a meal at home. Cooking a campfiremeal in the oven is a great way to heat your home. During the winter, your oven assists in the heating of your home and doesn’t work against it, like during the summer.
  • Restrict air flow into or out of the home. If you can feel wind blowing through by windows, use caulk to cover any open space.
  • Listen to your furnace. Units aren’t meant to be loud, if you hear a furnace running loudly, it could be a sign of a future problem.
  • Watch programmable thermostats. If they’re set too low, they can cause valuable heat to be lost. Monitor your thermostat manually during the winter months.
28_4_11Regardless, keep the temperature in your home where you are most comfortable. But remember, the higher it is, the more you will pay when your power bill comes in the mail.