So it is official, I have left Facebook for good.  Yes I will miss the conversations with some awesome people that I have met over the years.  Yes I will miss seeing all the goofy posts, and sharing them just the same. Yes, I will even miss the hours I spend browsing the feeds. I am not leaving Facebook because of Facebook (although the 4am game notifications were kinda annoying).  No, I am not leaving the (Anti)Social Media Mega Giant for any reason that the could have caused.  I am leaving it because I have become more security conscious.

Over the last several months, Internet Security has been a hot topic as many popular sites across the web are being hacked.  In June, was hacked exposing encrypted master passwords.  The iron is I almost used a site similar to this to store the massive amounts of passwords I have.  After thinking about the possibility of the site possibly being hacked in the future, I opted for a more “local to my device” solution. In July, Ashley Madison was hacked. Don’t get me wrong, a site that promotes cheating on your husband/wife is a black mark on our society in my book, however, having all your personal information stolen be a hacker is not punishment that is deserved by the patrons.  And now, even cars are hackable.

With Google (I have a gmail account, and an android phone) and Microsoft (yup, outlook account and a Windows 8/Windows 10 user) having access to most of my information already, adding the last 8 years of posts, pictures, rants, etc on Facebook, is just another site that is at risk.  The issue is, nothing is safe online.  Nothing is unhackable.  I cannot believe the amount of people deluded by this thought.  All security measures do is postpone the inevitable.  I tell all my clients, if some elite hacker wants to get your info, they will, all you can do is make it harder for them.  This usually fends off the small guys who are just playing, but an experienced hacker will see through most defenses.  And in most cases, your protection starts with your password….

Just a quick question.  How many of you change your passwords every 3 months? 6? 12? Have you ever changed your password?  How hard is your password to guess?  Do you use your children’s/pet’s/parent’s first/middle/last name as part of your password? Your birth date? or any other identifiable information?  If so, no amount of site security will help protect you if your password isn’t a strong one.  I personally use random passwords, 20-32 characters in length (now you know why I need a password database).  I had my server hacked years ago when I was a newbie to servers and internet security, ever since then, for important sites online and for server administration, its been long random passwords that would take even the super computers decades to hack, and they are changed every 3 to 6 months to ensure they are never broken.  Here is a good random password generator site.

Not to mention Data Miners… People who browse social media sites gathering information on people.  Unless you have all your setting set to “Only Me” in Facebook (at which point there is no point to Facebook as no one will ever see anything), you are potentially exposed.

Here is an example for you.  You are a Proud parent of 2 wonderful children, and a cute little chihuahua names rex. You love to post pics all the time of them on facebook.  Then once day you are out across town with the family and you use the “Check In” feature –   “Having a great time a the mall with the fam 🙂 🙂 :)”.  Well now.  Your not home, only your little chihuahua is.  You’ve left yourself open to be robbed.  I know your what your thinking – “But I didn’t put my address online, I live in a big city!”.  Well remember that picture you posted of the whole family standing out front of your home last summer when you announced “We finally go a new home!”  Well if you look in the background, you’ll see the house number.  How many “Smiths” in the phone book do you think live at a house numbered 1234?

Data mining is not just for thieves ad crooks… Potential employers look at your social media too.  That weekend photo of you 2 years ago with the tall boy can of Bud and the bong in your had?  Guess who is getting a Drug test Monday?  It could also affect getting a job to begin with.  Despite that face that personal life and work life should be kept separate, the gloves are off when you are broadcasting your private life to the world.

I can keep going on and on about reasons for closing my Facebook account.  But no one wants to read a drawn out article (much like this one).  SO I will just end off this rant with this simple message.  To all those who connected with me on Facebook, I will miss you all.  If you want to get a hold of me, hit up the “Contact” page which lists many other ways you can chat with me.  My Twitter account is still open, as are a few other sites that syndicate my feed (every post gets pushed to those sites).  But in closing my Facebook account.. I can get an extra minute of sleep, knowing that one less mega site has my life story plastered all over it.

And with all the time I will save by not spending hours browsing Facebook… I might be able to update my blog more often.