Facebook/Twitter hacks by “friends” on the rise for teens and young adults

A new survey of American teenagers and young adults has discovered that three out of every 10 have had their Facebook, Twitter or MySpace accounts broken into for the purposes of snooping or impersonation.

And most know who was responsible.

The poll, conducted by Associated Press-MTV, asked a total of 1355 people between the ages of 14 and 24 about their experiences online, and suggests that the problem has doubled since 2009.

A typical scenario would be a young person leaving their computer unlocked while they leave the room, or forgetting to log out of Facebook, Twitter or an email account, giving someone else present the opportunity to snoop on emails or post an embarrassing status update using the account owner’s name.

Richard Lindenfelzer, a 20-year-old student from Ithaca College in New York, explained how he had left his Facebook account open, giving a friend an opportunity to post comments about his love life.

“It’s meant to be funny. It’s supposed to be obvious…

Read more in my article on the Naked Security website.

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Graham Cluley is a veteran of the cybersecurity industry, having worked for a number of security companies since the early 1990s when he wrote the first ever version of Dr Solomon's Anti-Virus Toolkit for Windows. Now an independent analyst, he regularly makes media appearances and is an international public speaker on the topic of cybersecurity, hackers, and online privacy. Follow him on Twitter, Mastodon, Threads, Bluesky, or drop him an email.

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