TOTAL SHARES 606

Bring it

So this weekend just gone was an interesting one.

On Saturday afternoon, I went furniture shopping with my wife and kids, and then we went for dinner. When I got home, I came back to a whole bunch of emails and Facebook alerts, asking me what was up.

Because, while I had been with my family, my Facebook account was hacked into, and the person responsible had some fun acting as me while I wasn’t around.

When I say fun, though, I mean they acted like an asshole and said some very hurtful and potentially damaging things about me, my friends, and the company I work for.

Two of the public updates that brought the email questions were “Are you hiring?”, insinuating that I was disillusioned at Jugnoo – which couldn’t be further from the truth – and “What do you really think of me?” as a “marketing experiment”.

I deleted these posts – yes, I should have just hidden from Timeline and used them to work with Facebook on catching the person responsible – and then started going through the alerts to see what had been done.

But that was just the start.

The Cowardice of the Asshole

As I dug further into the mess this asshole had created, I found that he (or she, but I have my hunches) had not only said hurtful things publicly, but had initiated a few private messages between “me” and a few of my Facebook friends.

In these messages, the person had stated lie after lie after lie. Things about Jugnoo, my current personal life, and more. They had even gotten my friends to open up about some of their personal life as well.

Like I said on Facebook, this person is a completely immoral asshole. And a coward.

He (I’m going to continue to use “he” here, though it may be a “she”) played with my family, by saying my amazing wife Jacki had an affair with a colleague at Jugnoo, and this was leading to us getting divorced.

He was also concerned about my son, now that Jacki and I wouldn’t be together (another mistake – I have two beautiful children and my daughter is just as precious to me).

So, essentially, this asshole was calling out my wife – the term “whore” was actually used – as well as accusing her of not being a good mother? Game on, shitdiot.

As I mentioned on Facebook, I’m big and ugly enough to come after and say what you want about me when you want to try and damage me personally and professionally. But going after my family and using them to get my friends to open up on their emotions too?

That just makes you a pathetic loser and coward. Sadly for you, it didn’t work.

The Value of Social Currency

One of the things I’ve always said, both here on the blog and when I’ve either been consulting with or training folks on social media, is to be yourself. Truly be yourself.

It may not always win you the popularity vote, but it does make one thing crystal clear – you get known for who you are, what you believe in and how you say things.

Never was this more true than when all this crap was going down last night.

My Facebook friends were railing around, with the vast majority saying they had doubts as soon as the crap started. Language uses, shorthand, letter cases, etc – none of them seemed to tally with how I normally speak, and in what tone.

Adam V on FB

Even if I had been drunk and was going on a rant – which some friends had asked, haha, cheers! – I’m sensible enough to not be online. Instead, you’d find me playing FIFA on Xbox and then falling asleep!

Being online is no different from being offline (with the exception of reach) – how you are and how you interact with people defines you, and paints a clear picture of you as a person.

I’m truly thankful and humbled that my friends realized the hacker was not me, and could see the difference between me and “not-me”.

It makes crap like this more bearable while going through the process of sorting it out, as well as helps combat the negativity that could have arose had these updates been believed.

If ever you need a reason to be you and your true self online, my experience this weekend should be a pointer.

Don’t Let The Bastard(s) Win

Of course, that still leaves the issue of the hacker in question. And what an idiot this person has turned out to be.

Going after me personally is one thing. The reason for the personal grudge, if that’s what it is, I don’t know. Like I said earlier, I have a hunch on who it may have been, given the people he spoke with and what was said.

But this idiot didn’t stop there – mistake.

He also tried to infer that the company I work for, Jugnoo, is having issues and that because of that, I wanted to leave (and, for the record, this is so far from the truth it made me laugh just typing it!).

When you state public things about a company, and these things could be damaging to that company’s public image? You’ve just opened yourself up to a whole new level of legal action.

While you might have thought it’d be fun to try and damage my personal and professional reputation, the game changes when you publicly involve a company. Something the hacker will no doubt find out soon…

My recommendation? Don’t take stuff like this lying down – fight back and work with the network or platform in question and make sure they don’t get away with it, where possible.

On that note, I’d just like to say I’m incredibly grateful for the support Jugnoo’s executive team gave me on Saturday night when I brought this to their attention (and are still giving me). That level of backing just adds to the hilarity of the “I’m unhappy at Jugnoo” statement made by the hacker.

Keep Yourself Safe

What this whole process has shown me is that we’re always vulnerable online. I consider myself to be a veteran in this space, and as such take a lot of measures to make my accounts secure.

But, as shown here, sometimes it may not be enough. The hacker seems to have known enough personal information about me to bypass my security levels, and that’s how they accessed Facebook (this is my guess, and not confirmed by Facebook yet).

So if someone who is very active in this space can be caught out, it shows the dangers for all of us.

To avoid this, make sure you have your accounts locked down as tight as they can be. On Facebook, for example, go into your Account Settings and make sure Secure Browsing is enabled; Login Notifications are enabled; and Login Approvals are enabled.

Security Settings

These steps will ensure you’re alerted when someone tries to access your account from a non-recognized source.

Changing your main email for alerts is also recommended, and don’t share that information with anyone. Do the same with any networks or public platforms you’re a part of – use their Help Desks if unsure of the process.

As this weekend has shown to me, we’re all at risk from idiots wanting our private information, or assholes trying to damage our reputation. Don’t make it easy for them.

As for the idiot that hacked me? I hope you’re reading this, since you left a pretty big trail to follow – watch your back, because the legal stuff will be starting soon…

And to my friends and colleagues that have supported me immensely in the 24 hours or so, I truly am grateful. Thank you.

TOTAL SHARES 606
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118 Comments on "Facebook Hacking and the Value of Social Currency"


Cyberbullying and Increased Accountability by Social Networks
1 year 4 months ago

[…] urge you to read this post, “Facebook Hacking and the Value of Social Currency” by ArCompany’s Danny Brown. Last year, Danny’s Facebook profile was hacked and […]

I dont want to say
2 years 3 months ago

I wont hack him till i get a reply from someone

I dont want to say
2 years 3 months ago

hey… now i was thinking of hacking a persons facebook, but only because i hated what he did to me -creeper- now i dont want to mess with his life only to show him that he needs to be careful with how he talks to people… I want it to be a in once and out kind of thing… i dont want to ruin his life because i got better things to do but i just want to teach him a lesson… reply to this anyone and tell me if i should hack his account and only do something small and not a big deal -nothing that will ruin his life- plz reply

BSWP
2 years 6 months ago

Poor my heart out and don’t even get a reply from the blogger? Fail! (now unsubscribed).

Danny Brown
2 years 6 months ago

Hi,

My apologies for missing your original comment – I was using a different commenting system when you originally posted (Disqus, I think), as I’ve been experimenting on which platform to use. Because of this, I’ve probably missed a few comments across different posts – as you can see from this thread and my other posts, I’m one of the more active bloggers when it comes to replying to comments left here.

I’m sorry you felt I hadn’t taken your comment seriously, and thank you for being here until then.

With regards your personal example, it’s true – Facebook aren’t the easiest to get in touch with, and they’re even less willing to disclose information unless you make it a legal case first (I involved both the police and a lawyer for my example).

Couldn’t your web host help you? They must have a trackback option to see where the source of the hack originated, and that might be the first steps in tracking down your hacker?

Again, sorry I missed this first time around.

BSWP
2 years 6 months ago

Oh yes, and I forgot to mention, that I even had a conversation with the hacker, as if it was myself talking to myself on my fb wall, except he was the one with really bad grammar and lots of bad language. He/she was pretty convinced that I’d never find out who they were. Sadly, they were right. I hope you have better luck, Danny. I know I can’t blame facebook, but I’ve hated them ever since, because I feel that they would be key to me catching this person, and they were no help at all. There was simply no real person from there I could contact, just ridiculous questions and answers, none of which applied to my situation.

BSWP
2 years 6 months ago

Oh yes, and I forgot to mention, that I even had a conversation with the hacker, as if it was myself talking to myself on my fb wall, except he was the one with really bad grammar and lots of bad language. He/she was pretty convinced that I’d never find out who they were. Sadly, they were right. I hope you have better luck, Danny. I know I can’t blame facebook, but I’ve hated them ever since, because I feel that they would be key to me catching this person, and they were no help at all. There was simply no real person from there I could contact, just ridiculous questions and answers, none of which applied to my situation.

BSWP
2 years 6 months ago

Oh my goodness, this happened to me. It was 10pm at night, I was just dozing off in bed, when I heard a shriek from my 16 year old daughter and she yelled “Mum! I’m being hacked!” ‘She’ (or the person logged on as her) had said some really offensive things to people online, making offensive comments on their photos etc to people at her school she barely knew, which caused all their friends to turn on my daughter immediately, and she was mortified. I immediately went online and contacted those people and told them she was being hacked, then that same person started impersonating me. We logged out and changed our passwords, it made no difference, the person was apparently hacking our wifi and was hacking our fb via firesheep or something we found out later. It turns out they stole 10gb of our wifi that day downloading god knows what, could’ve been child porn, all under our accounts. The police couldn’t help and Facebook were absolutely no help whatsoever, couldn’t even get hold of anyone, and I was so humiliated that I deleted my 135 friends, a lot of whom witnessed the peurile and perverted comments whoever it was was making on my own fb wall under my name. That same day, I had been in my web host manager, and strangely a client’s whole site was deleted (not sure if it was the hacker but it wasn’t me), which I had to try and restore, and as her designer had not set up auto back ups, I had to set the site up again from scratch since it was my responsibility that it went down as the server manager, I’m talking installing joomla, installing the theme and then putting in all the content. That was several months ago and I still feel paranoid going online, despite firewalls and new modem and goodness knows what other security settings have been set up, including on our gmail, thank goodness that wasn’t got into, but strangely that afternoon I kept getting gmail verification codes texted to me, so maybe they were trying to get in. What a nightmare. I hope you catch up with whoever hacked your account and throw the book at him from all of us.

BSWP
2 years 6 months ago

Oh my goodness, this happened to me. It was 10pm at night, I was just dozing off in bed, when I heard a shriek from my 16 year old daughter and she yelled “Mum! I’m being hacked!” ‘She’ (or the person logged on as her) had said some really offensive things to people online, making offensive comments on their photos etc to people at her school she barely knew, which caused all their friends to turn on my daughter immediately, and she was mortified. I immediately went online and contacted those people and told them she was being hacked, then that same person started impersonating me. We logged out and changed our passwords, it made no difference, the person was apparently hacking our wifi and was hacking our fb via firesheep or something we found out later. It turns out they stole 10gb of our wifi that day downloading god knows what, could’ve been child porn, all under our accounts. The police couldn’t help and Facebook were absolutely no help whatsoever, couldn’t even get hold of anyone, and I was so humiliated that I deleted my 135 friends, a lot of whom witnessed the peurile and perverted comments whoever it was was making on my own fb wall under my name. That same day, I had been in my web host manager, and strangely a client’s whole site was deleted (not sure if it was the hacker but it wasn’t me), which I had to try and restore, and as her designer had not set up auto back ups, I had to set the site up again from scratch since it was my responsibility that it went down as the server manager, I’m talking installing joomla, installing the theme and then putting in all the content. That was several months ago and I still feel paranoid going online, despite firewalls and new modem and goodness knows what other security settings have been set up, including on our gmail, thank goodness that wasn’t got into, but strangely that afternoon I kept getting gmail verification codes texted to me, so maybe they were trying to get in. What a nightmare. I hope you catch up with whoever hacked your account and throw the book at him from all of us.

mariawilliams672
2 years 7 months ago

This post serves as a warning for all of us who use face book….

jblake
2 years 7 months ago

I felt sorry for you… Thanks for your story.. this serves us a warning to every user in facebook.. Keep posting!!!

classified ads
2 years 7 months ago

That why I don’t trust Facebook!

penneyfox
2 years 7 months ago

Well that sucks more then anything else has ever sucked before …. so sorry to hear this happened to you. Sounds like you know who did this and I hope you catch the idiot. And when the legal system comes after him, he’s gonna wish he hadn’t messed with you and your family (said in my best Godfather voice).

Danny Brown
2 years 7 months ago

 @penneyfox Haha, trying to envisage you with the gravelly voice, Penney. :)

penneyfox
2 years 7 months ago

 @Danny Brown You gotta make ‘em an offer they can’t refuse ….
 
(BTW replied to our FB message chat but wasn’t sure with everything going on if you were able to get that message or not)

wonderwall7
2 years 7 months ago

I can’t believed this happened to you! I hope everything got straightened out. Thanks for all that you do. -Kelsey from StorageAuction_ 

3HatsComm
2 years 7 months ago

This is beyond crazy and I hope you and Facebook find who did this, so they can be held accountable. It’s one of the trolling, hating behaviors that most of us just can’t fathom or comprehend. Very sorry this happened – now off to check my FB settings. FWIW.

Danny Brown
2 years 7 months ago

 @3HatsComm Both the police and Facebook are on it, Davina, along with the information I gave them and the name of the person I suspect. Here’s to a reasonably swift resolution.

meghankrane
2 years 7 months ago

I’m so sorry to hear that you and your family were attacked Danny. Three cheers for your friends and colleagues for rallying around you with support and concern. I hope that this person is held accountable for their actions. Your point about being true to yourself is even more poignant in the case of identity theft on social media networks. Thank you for taking the time to share your story during a time of vulnerability. 

Danny Brown
2 years 7 months ago

 @meghankrane You know what’s stood out the most, Meghan, and has been truly great to see? How this “not real life” space that we play in has some of the most real people around. Cheers!

tressalynne
2 years 7 months ago

As I was reading this, I could feel my blood pressure rising, my face getting red, and then (when I got the part about your wife) actually physically shuddered. My heart goes out to you and your family! How AWFUL!! Hang tough–I know you will. 

christammiller
2 years 7 months ago

@areallycooldad Stolen ID that was easier to spot b/c the tone & syntax were so markedly diff’t from the real person’s – that was my point.

AReallyCoolDad
2 years 7 months ago

@christammiller Yes. I agree w/ you. When people notice you’re acting out of character, you have established valuable authentic behaviour.

Mark_Harai
2 years 7 months ago

I’m sorry you had to go through this Danny.
 
It comes with the territory though. You need to be prepared and just stand in the comfort and strength of your family.
 
It’s lonely at the top and can be very f–ked up at times.
 
People will always be coming to knock you out of the position you’ve worked hard for and earned. Always.
 
I don’t have clue what the details are Danny… maybe I shouldn’t speculate… just sayin.

Danny Brown
2 years 7 months ago

 @Mark_Harai What makes it sadder is I’m pretty sure I know the person responsible, mate, and it wasn’t random. Hey ho.

sydcon_mktg
2 years 7 months ago

WOW, just WOW!!! I am so sorry you and yours had to endure this.  What is wrong with people? Honestly!!! 

Janis La Couvée
2 years 7 months ago

So sorry to hear about this. Am now investigating why my log-in authentication (two-step) is no longer working…. I think you can’t have both “private browsing” and the FB authentication…. Bummer.

adamtoporek
2 years 7 months ago

Sorry to hear about this Danny. It’s crazy that someone thought they could get away with it, not to mention being low enough to do it at all. Glad you were able to bounce back quickly.

Danny Brown
2 years 7 months ago

 @adamtoporek Wheels are in motion, mate – hopefully a resolution will be sooner rather than later, but it *will* happen.

TheJackB
2 years 7 months ago

Nothing more to say than I am sorry this happened and I support you.

Carla Gentry
2 years 7 months ago

Hope the jerk get a bad rash and a dose of the clap

Karen Cioffi
2 years 7 months ago

Hi, I subscribe to your posts, but this is the first time I’m commenting. It’s frightening how easy it seems for scammers, spammers, and unethical individuals to play havoc with our social accounts and connections. I hope you ‘get’ this guy/gal. I look forward to the follow-up.
 
I try my best to take precautions about internet safety, but personal information is just so easily available. For all the internet’s benefits, there are some wicked drawbacks.

Danny Brown
2 years 7 months ago

 @Karen Cioffi That’s the thing, sadly – there will always be people that know just enough about you to make shit like this happen. We just have to try make it as hard as we can for them to do so.

Soulati | B2B Social Media Marketing
2 years 7 months ago

I’m sorry I wasn’t connected last night to lend you further support. I am just stupid with disbelief that this happened, Danny, and I am sorry for the blatant attack on you, your wife and family. We know you as a pillar in our community; so glad your true friends saw through that cowardly nightmare. Sometimes it’s hard to know which pathway is right — to open your life for others to abuse, or shut it back down when jealous shitdiots (great word) attack anonymously.

Danny Brown
2 years 7 months ago

 @Soulati | B2B Social Media Marketing Thanks, miss. I think that’s what really pissed me off the most – the attacks on anyone and everyone, not just me. That’s just lowlife scum right there.

AmandaMagee
2 years 7 months ago

Looking forward to the resolution recap, may it be swift and succinct.

ChristineBuffaloe
2 years 7 months ago

This happened to one of my clients just over a year ago. It was awful and i can say, I got little or no help from Facebook. I wrote a blog post about it as well. We just had to create a new account for her and let other’s know. Even with security measures, it can happen.
http://www.serenityva.net/blog/what-to-do-when-your-facebook-account-is-hacked

Danny Brown
2 years 7 months ago

 @ChristineBuffaloe Cheers, Christine. That’s definitely a way to get around it – just wonder how many people would do that for a personal profile? I think that’s where Facebook and other networks need to make their support networks easier and more effective.

Christine Buffaloe
2 years 7 months ago

I agree. They make it darn near impossible. It’s all done through contact pages. The hackers were trying to extract monies from her friends. It can be your reputation, money or anything.

JulieTyios
2 years 7 months ago

Very sorry you had to go through this, Danny. You and Jacki are the last people on earth who deserve anything of the sort. (Not that anyone deserves anything like this, but you know where I’m going with that.) You’ve got karma on your side in this case and if I were that person, I’d be nervous.
 
GO GET ‘EM, DANNY!!!!

Danny Brown
2 years 7 months ago

 @JulieTyios That’s the beauty of karma – even if you don’t resolve as a person, karma usually always does.

ginidietrich
2 years 7 months ago

When I saw this unfolding, it became apparent really quickly it wasn’t you. The person was using all caps, the spelling was horrendous, and he wasn’t using punctuation.  I also know you well enough to know, if you were unhappy in your job, you wouldn’t post it publicly on Facebook.  I’m so sorry the person did enough damage that you had to apologize to your friends. But most of us knew it wasn’t you.

Danny Brown
2 years 7 months ago

 @ginidietrich I think it’s interesting we both thought of the same person when it comes to who the suspect it. Sad if it turns out to be true.

Henry Platten
2 years 7 months ago

So sorry to hear the problems you’ve had. It’s frustrating to say the least as well as the lost time and energy in resolving the matter.

Sadly we’ve seen an increase in this form of localised hacking with people who’ve come to us, which is why, as ex cops a trained investigators, we’re now on a crusade to educate and train people to become social media detectives and take the evidence to the platforms – in the hope it will speed up their response.

I’ve seen a change in the mindset of hackers and hope through your articulate blog and network others will learn from your unfortunate experience to protect themselves. There are more tips on boosting your e-security on our blog page at eTreble9.com. Thanks for sharing your experience

Danny Brown
2 years 7 months ago

 @Henry Platten Cheers Henry – will check your platform out, sounds like something that could help a lot of people.