Recently I have read an article about the dark side of social media. The article talks about a woman’s email account being hacked by an unknown person, who threatened and eventually posted nude photos of her using her Facebook account. The nude photos inevitably were seen by her many friends, colleagues and families via Facebook.

Security Questions and Answers

It appears that the hacker was able to gain control over the Facebook account by hijacking the password. The hacker was able to learn the answers to common security questions by studying the posts on Facebook. These include questions like their favourite colour, mother’s maiden name… etc.

Tips to reinforce security to your email and social networking accounts:

  • Select security questions and answers that are not posted on public sites
  • Add numbers or additional characters to your common security answers

Validity of Email Address

For Facebook users, we all know we require an email address to set up a Facebook account – or any kind of social network for that matter. From this case study, we have learned that anyone with an email account is vulnerable to identity theft. Especially if an invalid or non current email address is used to set up the social media accounts. Setting up social media accounts can bring in a lot of spam, hence it is not uncommon that people would use an old or abandoned email address to set up social media accounts

However, there is a negative when using an abandoned email address to set up your social media accounts. When you contact Facebook or the cyber crime division to cancel your account, they would want to know the name of the folders or subject lines of emails. Ten years later, you may realise you have forgotten these details.


There is no way known that the security of personal information is guaranteed online. It requires constant monitoring, thoughts and care as to what content you wish to share within the online community.

Another thing to keep in mind is the vagueness of current cyber laws. It is not uncommon that when social media accounts or emails are violated, it will take ten times as long to contact a representative or support from the providers. Commonly, they are not held accountable for situations as such.

However, by being cautious and having a valid/current email address to set up social media accounts, you can be sure you are doing your best to be on the safe side.