What The Tech: Facebook followers

What the Tech

(WHATTHETECH)— Remember the good old days of Facebook shortly after you joined? You’d be all excited to hear from that friend from 6th grade or a friend request from someone you’d lost touch with years ago? Today most of the friend requests we get are from people we don’t know. Many of them are fake accounts, set up by spammers and hackers trying to get some of your information.

You may delete those friend requests but that is not always the end of the story. Deleted Facebook friend requests become followers meaning they can see anything and everything you post to Facebook publicly.

Case in point: I deleted a friend request last week from someone I knew was posing as someone else. Their profile photo was one taken off the internet. They had only a couple of friends, they set up an account last week and they’d posted only a couple of photos of flowers. Suspecting it was a spammer, I deleted the request but rather than disappearing, the fake account was following me. What does that mean? Whatever I post publicly, including photos of my house and my kids, would have been seen by the spammer in their Facebook newsfeed.

You’ve likely never looked at all of your followers. It’s actually a bit hard to find. It doesn’t show up on your newsfeed page or in any of the settings or pop-out windows. To see your list, you must go to your Facebook profile page and look for “Followed by” or “followers”. Choose this and you’ll see the list of people who are following you.

Facebook makes this more difficult that it should be. To keep someone from following you, you must go to each individual follower, click or tap the gear icon and block them. You can also report them as spam.

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