After doing a touch of scratching round the underbelly of the interwebs we found that this type of “account cloning” is quite easy to pull off. However, it is not “new,” as the post claims, thatsnonsense.com suggests it’s been around for a number of years. We could not find any credible sources that say that this type of cyber attack is increasing in popularity.
So, how does this work? Glad you asked!
A nasty pasty cuts and pastes your profile image into a bogus account and then posts to all of the friends on your friend list saying that you are locked out of your original account (or in one ironic twist that we quite liked – that your original account had been hacked by pirates – you have to award points for a sense of humour!) and that they should switch over to this (the bogus) account. Once they have done so they are primed and ready to receive all kinds of spam and nonsense.
You don’t suffer any bad effects, apart from maybe losing a few FB friends and maybe a few real life friends who’re annoyed at all the rubbish you’ve been sending them on FB.
Ways to avoid it – You can’t stop them using your photo – that’s out there in internetland. What you can do is stop the pirates from seeing your friend list. On your profile (timeline) page go to your friends list and click on the “edit” button at the top. In the pop-up box that pops up (as they do!) change the setting to “only me” so no-one can see your list of friends. Easy Peasy!
We’re calling this one a Henny Penny (since we can’t use the more the modern version any more – Stupid Disney!) The threat is real, albeit small, and it’s always wise to take steps to protect yourself and your friends – but the sky certainly isn’t falling in!