Watch out who you Chat with on Facebook

By John Gardner

Twice in the last month, I’ve received and accepted a “Friend Request” from someone I know. Almost immediately upon confirming the request, I get a messenger chat with a friendly greeting.

In the first case, after about a half dozen friendly back and forth warm fuzziness, the chatter asks me if I’ve heard of this person who helps people get unclaimed tax money. He supplied a link. Getting suspicious, I called my “friend” who had no idea his account was hacked.

Today, I got another such friend request from another person I know. Almost identical conversation, but this one moves in a direction of winning thousands from a poker lottery on facebook. Again, I call my real friend who discovers he’s been hacked.

When you’re hacked, one of the best things you can do is change your password.

But that’s where many people make their mistake. By using a familiar password like:

  • pet’s name
  • child or grandchild’s name
  • “password1234”
  • etc…..
  • YOU GET HACKED….because there are tools out there to search for passwords.

I use a program called LastPass. I use the free version, but here are some of the things it can do for you…..

  • It can automatically generate strong passwords and then remember them for you so you never have to actually type them in. Here is an example of a 12-digit password: D3FUNyuuv336 …. but you can choose the number of digits up to a ridiculous length.
  • Every time you create a new account with a username and password, you are prompted to save it. Once you do that, it is in your vault.
  • If away from your computer, you can sign into LastPass and look up your password.
  • The Premium version ($1/mo) gives you access via mobile phone as well.

I use Lastpass to manage about 50 different accounts. I could never do that trying to remember my password myself.

If you need help, HIRE ME!

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15 yrs experience as a high school band director. 14 yrs as college adjunct faculty. 30+ yrs in the fundraising industry and 24 yrs as a small business owner. (Don't add all those up.). Experience in both the fundraising sales and education worlds give me a unique combination of perspectives in both. I love working with the youthful enthusiasm of today's teenage achievers and with those who work with them.Also 4yrs as proprietor of, which offers a wide variety of virtual services including web/blog design/hosting/managing, social media management (scheduling posts/tweets for maximum impact and brand enhancement) and small business consulting - specializing in school product fundraising.

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