It's official. No photo is safe on Facebook, regardless of your privacy settings. First, there was the dead teen whose photos were used for a dating site. And now there's the law student whose pictures were stolen and advertised her to be an escort. Jazmine Jones' email was hacked into last year, and identity thieves were able to then get into her Facebook account and steal 300 personal photos of hers. The photos were then used to set up other Facebook accounts, which claimed she was an escort. The bogus accounts began messaging random guys, asking them for money in return of escort services. Jones' life has pretty much been ruined thanks to this, and neither the police, nor Facebook, can or will do anything about it.
Considering closing your account now?
Jones claims that when she went to the police, they told her, "Don't take it seriously, I'm sure it will be fine." And she says that every time Facebook closes a fake account, a new one pops up. And making the embarrassing ordeal even worse is the fact that at one point, someone sent her a photo of her own driver's license (which was apparently obtained from emails) and threatened to open up bank accounts in her name. "It's complete cyber bullying and I'm starting to fear for my safety," she said. "I've contacted the police and they've told me that unless it is a terrorism threat, there is nothing they can do about it." Lovely.
Now, obviously we're not all going to get rid of our email accounts, and there's always the chance of them getting hacked into, but I don't know ... hearing stories like this makes me wonder just how unsafe Facebook is. People post photos of themselves -- and even worse, their kids -- on the site all the time. And they think that just because they have their privacy settings turned on, they're protected. Clearly, they're not. It's obviously incredibly easy to swipe someone's pics and use them for some truly disturbing things.
My vote is to just ditch Facebook already. You'll be fine without it, trust me. I got rid of my account almost a year ago, and not only did I never look back, when I hear stories like this, I couldn't be happier I did.
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Image via Don Hankins/Flickr