Many people will already have been one jump ahead of me as I face my dilemma but, if we allow the principle that one shouldn’t require in-depth knowledge of I.T. in order to use social networking sites, there must be many who will be interested in my account of how I solved the problem.
Internet companies are, of course, victims of their own success and expanded at a rate that would once have been unimaginable, in fact they are now valued by their anticipated earnings. The problem is that providing individual, personal attention, globally, to hundreds of millions of people becomes a serious problem. Of course, we could say ‘that’s their problem, not ours’. After all, companies reap the huge rewards that go with it all. Realistically, it won’t happen, which takes me back to why I’m writing this.
OK. I was getting nowhere and, although I’d reported the problem – which isn’t easy because they ask you questions you probably won’t know how to answer – I realized I’d have to solve this problem myself. Will I get a message from a Facebook human being saying ‘we’re sorry to hear about your problems. Just do this and that and all will be OK’. Nah!
Anyone using Facebook will know how difficult it can be to find anything, with options ‘hidden’ behind illogical headings, or not there at all. Eventually, I noticed an email in my inbox confirming my changed password with the comment that, if I hadn’t authorized the change, I should click here (in a tiny type size) to secure the account. I had authorized the change but not under the name given, which was my mystery hacker. So this stage of the process has not been thought through properly by the Facebook designers. Nevertheless, I clicked the link – what else could I do – and went through the tortuous process, requiring two renewed attempts to get where I was trying to go. For example, I had to find my service-provider password (which I last used around four years ago) and, while I was searching my little book for that, the Facebook site timed-out. Not only that, but each time I tried to use the new passwords created at Facebook’s request they were rejected because they now already existed (from my previous attempts!).
Facebook should provide an easy-to-find link which itemizes all we might need before we begin.
When I’d finished Facebook’s procedure I still had to get rid of the cartoon of a blond woman appearing instead of me. Replacing the header image was easy but, when I replaced the profile picture with my own mugshot the option to ‘save’ did not appear and when I reopened the site the girl had taken my place again. I tried once more and succeeded in putting my own image in place but all the thumbnail images had become generic.
Now, the rest of this procedure is unclear (I succeeded but I don’t know exactly how). At one stage a dialogue box popped up and I noticed a little book graphic. ‘What’s that?’ I thought but I clicked it anyway to relieve the boredom of cycling through the same pages and getting nowhere. A strip of HTML guff appeared at the bottom of the page and I noticed a comment which I think implied that the problem with my mugshot might be solved with the script de-bugger. I pressed this because, by this time, I was thinking ‘good riddance to Facebook’. Thereafter, my mugshot was secure, as it still is.
Another email informed me I’d been hacked via my email program. This round possibly goes to Facebook. I use Windows Live Mail and had never used a password. I do now and have a little book 6mm thick with all my login details etc. Few could commit so many to memory. Having said that, there are occasions where, quite legitimately, both Facebook and Live Mail might need to be open at once as I work on my networking. Whenever we close Facebook we get a notice asking us if we’d like to save the login details, so is this safe or not? Presumably it is, or they wouldn’t ask. I DON’T SAVE THEM!
However the problem occurred, Facebook is not providing the protection we need which is especially galling to me because Twitter recently sent out indecent images in my daughter’s name when her account was hacked.
Twitter, you seriously upset my daughter and an apology would be nice. No chance.
Any chance of organizing a global strike? Shall we all agree to stop using Facebook and Twitter for a month?