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MySpace Privacy

Friday, October 12th, 2007 by | Filed Under: Security Help, Using The Internet
 
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Q:
I admit that I love using MySpace! I have been able to find so many people I’ve lost touch with over the years and it’s just been great talking to them again. Now, I do have my profile set to “Private,” but I’ve been hearing some rumors that people are able to see private profiles even if they’re not on a person’s friend list. Is this true? How can that be possible? Please give me any information you have about this!

A:
First of all, I want to say that I think it’s great that you enjoy using MySpace so much. I know a lot of people have shied away from MySpace because of all the security issues and so forth, but it really is a great social networking site. As the person who asked today’s question stated, it’s an easy way to reconnect with old friends and stay in touch with family members. I personally love using MySpace as well. It’s just amazing to me how many people I have been able to find from my high school days and even some old college friends. It’s great!

Now, while all of that is good and well, we all know there are a few holes when it comes to using MySpace. From its start, there have been numerous security issues, hacking problems and so on and so forth. It’s no secret that MySpace had a little trouble with those things when it first started to become popular. To try and cut down on some of those things, the MySpace people put in place an option where you could keep your profile private. If you did that, only the people you added to your friends list could see the content of your page. Everyone else could see your name and photo, but they were shut off from everything else.

Before I go any further, I want to make sure everyone knows how to make their MySpace profile private if they want to do so. By the end of this tip, I think a lot more of you will be utilizing that feature. Okay, to make your profile private, log in to your account and click on Account Settings (the link for that is located right next to your picture). Once there, click on the Privacy link at the top of the page. Next, go to the section that says “Profile Viewable By” and checkmark the option of “My friends only.” Click the Save All Changes button and you’ll be all set. Your profile will now be private to anyone outside of your friends list. Alright, now back to today’s question!

For awhile now, there have been some rumors flying around that even though you have your profile set to “Private,” other people can still access your page. As with a lot of other things these days, there are some people out there that just sit around and figure out how they can hack into others’ private property. And of course, several of them have come up with ways to hack into a private MySpace profile. Even more, there are numerous Web sites on the Internet today that give detailed instructions on how to perform these hacks. So, basically, if there’s a profile you want to see, but it’s private, you could find ways to hack into it yourself. I hope none of you kind people would do that, but the possibility is there.

There are a few different types of hacks for this as well. There are some that will just show you the person’s friend list, while others reveal all of a person’s comments and photos. As long as you have the MySpace ID, you can plug that into a URL and you’ll be let in to various MySpace profiles. Now, I know all of that sounds pretty frightening, but once you get past the shock, I have some good news for you, so please keep reading!

Luckily, MySpace has gotten pretty smart about these kinds of hacks. They are now monitoring the hacker Web sites non-stop and they are clearing up any issues that may be found within hours of them being reported. The MySpace people are well aware of what’s going on and they are not just letting it pass them by. They are devoted to stopping these hacks from happening and they clean them up very quickly. These days, it’s not even really worth searching for these hacks, because they are usually taken care of right away. Of course, there are always new holes to be found, but like I said, MySpace is aware of the problem and they are not going to just sit back and watch it happen.

I know it takes a lot to trust a Web site like MySpace, but at least you now know that if you set your profile to “Private,” it will more than likely stay that way. If you see any suspicious activity on your profile, report it to MySpace right away and they will look into it. They are always working on different security tactics and they will be happy to help you out as well. If you do have a problem, you can contact MySpace right here. One more thing: to keep yourself even more safe, don’t accept any friends you do not know. If you do that, you’re just setting yourself up for disaster. Use some common sense and your MySpace experience will stay as safe as can be!

~ Erin

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