Back when I was on Facebook, all of a few weeks ago, there was one thing I rarely did: Private message people on it. Call me paranoid, but something about sending a "private" message on a very public site just feels weird. I mean, who knows what could happen? A glitch here, a malfunction there -- boom, your sexy time message to your co-worker is for all the world to see. No thanks. And, hey, guess what? My paranoid instincts were actually right for once. Some private messages people sent to one another could have become public on New Year's Eve. Might have made for a super awkward 2013 for some.
Relax, no messages were actually exposed. Unless you're friends with some super computer genius or something. Then you may have cause to worry. Okay, I'll stop being cryptic. Here's what happened: Facebook was offering something called "Midnight Message Service" a few days ago. Basically, it was a feature that would deliver a special private message to someone when the clock struck 12:00 on New Year's. But a Britain-based tech blogger figured out a flaw, which would allow people to snoop on other people's messages -- and he posted a step-by-step guide of how to do this. When Facebook realized the bug, they quickly fixed it -- hopefully before anyone had the chance to snoop.
More from The Stir: 10 Surefire Ways to Be That Obnoxious Facebook Friend
Look, dudes, I know there are arguments about how nothing on the Internet is secure -- and that's true (and it's terrifying!) -- but unless it's something you really don't care about anyone seeing, just use email. Sure, people can get on there, too, but the odds of something you write in Gmail making its way to your hundreds of 'friends' are pretty slim.
And if you really want to keep things secure, try that email trick General Petraeus and Paula Broadwell used, where you share an email account with someone, and each just write "drafts."
But you don't have anything that secretive, do you?
Do you send private messages on Facebook?
Image via mikecpeck/Flickr