July 10, 2017

There is no Jayden K. Smith

News Privacy

If you’ve been lucky enough not to receive a message about him, you’ve still probably heard about him anyway: Jayden K. Smith, aka Facebook hacker extraordinaire.

Well, that’s what we’re being told by our friends and families, anyway. This Facebook hacker is ready to steal your account the instant you or one of your contacts accepts his friend request. The only thing is, it’s not real.

If you’re reading this blog, you’re probably already a pretty switched-on, skeptical person, able to spot a dud a mile off. But for some reason this hoax made the rounds pretty quickly over the weekend.

Well-meaning friends thought it best to share the message after receiving it themselves, and thus the message went viral:

For those of us old enough to remember, it has the whiff of the chain letters we all used to get back in the day with admonitions to share or suffer 90 years bad luck (or something to that effect). But in this case, there’s a key point that people are missing: A simple trick to avoiding this kind of complication is never to accept friend requests from unknown people. Not only is it a privacy nightmare, it’s also a potential tool for criminals, who friend people to learn more about them.

So, in short — if you ever receive a message like this, either ignore it or delete it — and be sure never to accept friend requests from people you don’t know.

Now might also be a good time to do a good spring cleaning of your Facebook privacy settings — you can find how to do it properly here.