Canadian survey finds some Facebook ‘hacks’ done by friends

Facebook Survey

“Keep your friends close and your enemies closer,” the saying goes; some friends, you might even need to keep closer still.

A survey conducted by researchers from the University of British Columbia (UBC) in collaboration with the University of Lisbon, found that many instances of unauthorized Facebook account are committed by one of the victim’s friends.

In a survey of over 1,300 U.S. adult Facebook users, researchers found that nearly one-quarter of people used the accounts of their family, romantic partners and friends using their computers and cell phones.

“It’s clearly a widespread practice. Facebook private messages, pictures or videos are easy targets when the account owner is already logged on and has left their computer or mobile open for viewing,” Wali Ahmed Usmani, study author and computer science master’s student, told UBC.

Some people admitted they went onto their friends’ Facebook accounts just for fun — out of curiosity or to post something funny while they’re still logged in.

Others had more malicious intent; acting out of jealousy, there were some cases where people ruined relationships with what they sent.

The findings concluded with the suggestion that people take greater precautions over securing their Facebook accounts.

“There’s no single best defense, though a combination of changing passwords regularly, logging out of your account and other security practices can definitely help,” said Kosta Beznosov, the paper’s other senior author.

On Facebook’s part, the company recently allowed users to better protect their accounts by using USB security keys.

Source: UBC