Identity Theft Prevention/Facebook Account Hacked



I have my Facebook secured with all the settings I tough were good for privacy (just friends able to see content, not making my posts public and even the one that is not supposed to allow searching for me as a user).   Still my wife was able to get into my Facebook account and read all I had posted.  She was not a friend and I did not friend any of her friends.    How did that happened (she is not even every computer literate).

Thank you

ANSWER: Hector,

You have apparently experienced a common situation in the world of social media.

While not necessarily singling out Facebook, it is exceedingly difficult for the consumer to enjoy adequate protection from such occurrences while agreeing to the ever-changing terms and conditions of typical social media web sites.

There may be several ways someone apparently not authorized to access your posted information to do so anyway.

It is possible that the options you have selected may have been changed under an updated set of user terms on the web site.

It is possible that a hacker may have compromised your account.

It is possible that a second or mirror page may have been created, exposing your information to people other than your "friends" on Facebook.

There may be other such instances of unintended exposure of your personal information.

I would suggest that you first review the current user terms on the web site, then be sure you have selected the restrictions you prefer -- always being aware, however, that it's likely for the web site administrators to override your settings (and you may have authorized them to do so).

If that is not satisfactory, you may wish to terminate the existing account, set up a new one, and only invite trusted individuals to connect as friends.

Unfortunately (in terms of privacy and security), the way in which such social media sites operate, one of their value propositions includes providing access to aggregated (and sometimes individual) information, usually for purposes of allowing their sponsors to market to a targeted audience.

Only you can determine whether you wish to continue to utilize such media to reach your circle of friends, or whether there may be a more personalized means of maintaining contact with them.

I hope that helps.  You may wish to send a follow-up question, and I'll try to assist you.

---------- FOLLOW-UP ----------

QUESTION: My wife own our cell phone contract.  It is possible that she got a "dump" of my cellphone into hers and from there just open my Facebook as easy as I do?  All my privacy settings were set up to just friends and she and no relatives or common friends were part of my friends circle.

Thank you


Sorry I've been involved in family activities all day, but I do have a few thoughts for you.

Please excuse me if my suggestions go beyond the identity theft aspects of your relationship.

The situation you describe appears to have more to do with your marriage than what we usually experience in the area of identity theft.

Typically, the "owner" of the cell phone account has the ability to access and set restrictions on all of the cell phones on the account.  Note that the specifics are likely different for various cell phone providers.

If you want to assure your privacy, you might want to set up a separate cell phone account.  This would be consistent with my earlier suggestion regarding your social media account.

On the other hand, if the issue is really about your marital relationship, perhaps you would be best off to address that directly, as in seeking counseling to figure out and deal with the underlying causes of the situation.

I hope that perspective is helpful, and I wish you the best.

Identity Theft Prevention

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Yan Ross


Certified Identity Theft Risk Management Specialist (CITRMS) -- providing responses to questions on identity theft prevention and restoration for consumers and holders of protected information (Personally Identifiable Information)


Recognized and quoted authority in the area of Identity Theft. Principal Contributing Author to the Identity Theft Risk Management Study Guide published by the Institute of Consumer Financial Education. Frequent lecturer on this subject to attorneys and other professionals, as well as law enforcement and community groups.

Bachelor of Arts, Princeton University -- Juris Doctor, Yale Law School -- Accredited Educator for numerous professional disciplines

Bachelor of Arts, Princeton University -- Juris Doctor, Yale Law School -- Accredited Educator for numerous professional disciplines

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