How to completely backup and restore your Facebook account.

In these two videos, you’ll learn how to completely backup and restore your Facebook account — even to another user account — using Acronis software. This is important in case your account gets hacked, suspended, or content is mistakenly deleted. For those wanting to shut down their Facebook presence, it provides a way to keep your content accessible.

Facebook Account Backup

Facebook Account Restore

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Source: Acronis (19 May 2017)

Facebook: Be careful when accepting friend requests from people you know.

Problem Summary

We’re all familiar with the warning to be cautious when accepting emails or social media requests from people we don’t know. Now it’s important to use caution when accepting friend requests from those we do know. Here’s why.

  • Scammers will setup a fake ‘imposter’ Facebook account using your friend’s name and maybe two or three of their photos. Then they will send you a friend request.
  • Because the friend request comes from someone you know, you’re less likely to be skeptical about it.
  • Additionally, because a few of your common friends will have already been duped into the scam, when you see the request come in,  you’ll see that you have several friends in common and that will further reassure you that the request is legitimate.

At this point, the snowball effect begins. The people behind these scams seek to build massive databases of names and personal information for identity theft, social engineering, and hacking into accounts.

You and those you know, who may have their Facebook content marked as ‘viewable by my friends and their friends’ are exposed to having all their content and list of friends stolen and misused.

So, for this reason, be VERY careful when accepting friend requests on Facebook even from people you know.

What To Do if You’re the Target

If someone has setup an imposter account pretending to be you, don’t post a message saying “my account has been hacked” because then your friends won’t know which account to trust. Explain that your account hasn’t been hacked, but that someone setup a new ‘fake / imposter’ account in your name and that you’re reporting it. Then follow the instructions on this page to report it and have it shut down.

Identification and Prevention – 3 Easy Steps

Here are three easy steps to identify and prevent fake accounts. (source)

  1. Take a few seconds to look and see if you are already friends with that person. If so, the new one is likely fake.
  2. Glance at the profile for the person making the request. Does it look legitimate? Often the fake accounts have only a few simple posts.
  3. Communicate with the person making the request. Send a message: “Hi ____, I’m just making sure this is really you.” If they reply by telling you that Facebook is giving away a million dollars, it’s probably fake.

If it’s fake, take a moment to report it quickly before the scam spreads. Use the steps below.

How to Report and Shut Down Imposters

Because this is becoming a very prevalent problem, Facebook has improved the mechanism for reporting it. Follow the instructions shown below. Click the image for a larger view. In step 4 you can indicate whether someone is pretending to be you or someone  you know.

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Further Reading

Here are some additional articles on the topic of Facebook safety and how to avoid Facebook scams.

Facebook has an official ‘how to report things‘ page.

You can view all Facebook support requests in your support inbox, including reporting of user accounts.

On Facebook Use Caution When Approving Friend Requests

Today I received a friend request from someone on Facebook. Usually I would just click “Approve” and move on.

Yet, we only had one friend in common, and upon checking this person’s Facebook profile, it showed that they had only one post on their timeline (a poor quality profile pic), yet they were adding friends on Facebook at a furious rate. I couldn’t really find anything from a Google search on this person. It was as if they didn’t exist.

Many of the people who he friended are from my community — people I know, although we’re not Friends on Facebook.

I thought I’d spend a few minutes investigating this a bit, so I contacted some of the people (dozens added in the last hour) who had recently friended him.

Turns out none of these people really know anything about him.

Potential Harm

Here’s the danger in accepting friend requests too quickly:

  1. The person controlling the fake user account (a troll) gets access to your entire friend list.
  2. The troll or potential hacker sees your private timeline posts as if they are your friend or family member. They see things about you that you’ve set as not public and only viewable to friends or friends of friends.
  3. Because of your supposed friendship with this fictitious person, the troll then gains the trust of your friends, so when the friend request appears, your friends think they are a trusted and known individual. So, they accept the friend request, and the troll returns to step 1 above to become friends with everyone that person knows, and so on.

The goal of these people is to quickly build up a huge friends list on Facebook which can grow exponentially. These accounts are typically built up over time and then sold on the black market to spammers, advertisers, and hackers who attempt to use reverse social engineering to hack into Facebook accounts (and your other accounts) based on what they gather from your personal information online.

What You Can Do

While Facebook is usually a fun and safe online environment, it’s still important to be cautious.

  • Alert Your Friends. If you suspect some suspicious activity, let your friends know — the friends who have already friended a troll using a fake account.
  • Alert Others. Look at the list of people the fake account has friended. Some of them will be people you’re not friends with, but you have dozens of friends in common. In other words, they are likely legitimate users. You could also consider notifying them.
  • Notify Facebook. You can also contact Facebook about suspicious activity. Go to the profile of the person you suspect is fraudulently using Facebook. Click on the dots to the right of the Message button and choose Report to report the person. You can also Block them.

It’s everyone’s responsibility to help keep Facebook safe and secure through each person being careful about who they connect with.

UPDATE #1

Several hours ago, there was no Google image match on the Internet for the profile image that had been posted by the fictitious user. None. Now, a few hours later, that same image is showing up for multiple user accounts under different names on Twitter and other websites. On those sites, he’s also posted little or nothing, but building friend networks.

UPDATE #2

Facebook took down the fraudulent user’s account within a few more hours of this post. Another victory.

Second Annual Hawkeye Innovation Summit on March 28

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A celebration of innovation and entrepreneurship at the University of Iowa. 

This full-day event brings the UI’s most innovative, faculty, staff and students together in one place to celebrate successes, inspire new creations, and encourage networking for future collaborations.

Throughout the day, there will be keynote speakers, breakout sessions, a luncheon, a startup showcase, and competitions.

You can signup for the entire day, or choose the morning or afternoon sessions.

Click here to learn more and register.

Following the Twitter Rules of Use Guidelines to Avoid Account Suspension

Accounts on Twitter perceived to be used only for promoting a single website through manual or automated methods may be suspended. Beow are the Twitter rules as of 20 February 2014. (Source: Twitter)

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Below are the Twitter rules as of 20 February 2014. (Source: Twitter)

Our goal is to provide a service that allows you to discover and receive content from sources that interest you as well as to share your content with others. We respect the ownership of the content that users share and each user is responsible for the content he or she provides. Because of these principles, we do not actively monitor and will not censor user content, except in limited circumstances described below.

Content Boundaries and Use of Twitter

In order to provide the Twitter service and the ability to communicate and stay connected with others, there are some limitations on the type of content that can be published with Twitter. These limitations comply with legal requirements and make Twitter a better experience for all. We may need to change these rules from time to time and reserve the right to do so. Please check back here to see the latest.

  • Impersonation: You may not impersonate others through the Twitter service in a manner that does or is intended to mislead, confuse, or deceive others.
  • Trademark: We reserve the right to reclaim usernames on behalf of businesses or individuals that hold legal claim or trademark on those usernames. Accounts using business names and/or logos to mislead others may be permanently suspended.
  • Private information: You may not publish or post other people’s private and confidential information, such as credit card numbers, street address or Social Security/National Identity numbers, without their express authorization and permission.
  • Violence and Threats: You may not publish or post direct, specific threats of violence against others.
  • Copyright: We will respond to clear and complete notices of alleged copyright infringement. Our copyright procedures are set forth in the Terms of Service.
  • Unlawful Use: You may not use our service for any unlawful purposes or in furtherance of illegal activities. International users agree to comply with all local laws regarding online conduct and acceptable content.
  • Misuse of Twitter Badges: You may not use badges, such as but not limited to the Promoted or Verified Twitter badge, unless provided by Twitter. Accounts using these badges as part of profile photos, header photos, background images, or in a way that falsely implies affiliation with Twitter may be suspended.

Abuse and Spam

Twitter strives to protect its users from abuse and spam. User abuse and technical abuse are not tolerated on Twitter.com, and may result in permanent suspension. Any accounts engaging in the activities specified below may be subject to permanent suspension.

  • Serial Accounts: You may not create multiple accounts for disruptive or abusive purposes, or with overlapping use cases. Mass account creation may result in suspension of all related accounts. Please note that any violation of the Twitter Rules is cause for permanent suspension of all accounts.
  • Targeted Abuse: You may not engage in targeted abuse or harassment. Some of the factors that we take into account when determining what conduct is considered to be targeted abuse or harassment are:
    • if you are sending messages to a user from multiple accounts;
    • if the sole purpose of your account is to send abusive messages to others;
    • if the reported behavior is one-sided or includes threats
  • Username Squatting: You may not engage in username squatting. Accounts that are inactive for more than six months may also be removed without further notice. Some of the factors that we take into account when determining what conduct is considered to be username squatting are:
    • the number of accounts created
    • creating accounts for the purpose of preventing others from using those account names
    • creating accounts for the purpose of selling those accounts
    • using feeds of third-party content to update and maintain accounts under the names of those third parties
  • Invitation spam: You may not use Twitter.com’s address book contact import to send repeat, mass invitations.
  • Selling usernames: You may not buy or sell Twitter usernames.
  • Malware/Phishing: You may not publish or link to malicious content intended to damage or disrupt another user’s browser or computer or to compromise a user’s privacy.
  • Spam: You may not use the Twitter service for the purpose of spamming anyone. What constitutes “spamming” will evolve as we respond to new tricks and tactics by spammers. Some of the factors that we take into account when determining what conduct is considered to be spamming are:
    • If you have followed and/or unfollowed large amounts of users in a short time period, particularly by automated means (aggressive following or follower churn);
    • If you repeatedly follow and unfollow people, whether to build followers or to garner more attention for your profile;
    • If your updates consist mainly of links, and not personal updates;
    • If a large number of people are blocking you;
    • If a large number of spam complaints have been filed against you;
    • If you post duplicate content over multiple accounts or multiple duplicate updates on one account;
    • If you post multiple unrelated updates to a topic using #, trending or popular topic, or promoted trend;
    • If you send large numbers of duplicate @replies or mentions;
    • If you send large numbers of unsolicited @replies or mentions in an aggressive attempt to bring attention to a service or link;
    • If you add a large number of unrelated users to lists in an attempt to bring attention to an account, service or link;
    • If you repeatedly create false or misleading content in an attempt to bring attention to an account, service or link;
    • Randomly or aggressively favoriting Tweets through automation in an attempt to bring attention to an account, service or link;
    • Randomly or aggressively Retweeting accounts through automation in an attempt to bring attention to an account, service or link;
    • If you repeatedly post other users’ account information as your own (bio, Tweets, url, etc.);
    • If you post misleading links (e.g. affiliate links, links to malware/click jacking pages, etc.);
    • Creating multiple misleading accounts in order to gain followers;
    • Selling followers;
    • Purchasing followers;
    • Using or promoting third-party sites that claim to get you more followers (such as follower trains, sites promising “more followers fast,” or any other site that offers to automatically add followers to your account);
  • Pornography: You may not use obscene or pornographic images in either your profile photo, header photo, or user background.

Your account may be suspended for Terms of Service violations if any of the above is true. Please see our help pages onFollowing rules and best practices and Automation rules and best practices for a more detailed discussion of how the Rules apply to those particular account behaviors. Accounts created to replace suspended accounts will be permanently suspended.

Accounts engaging in any of these behaviors may be investigated for abuse. Accounts under investigation may be removed from Search for quality. Twitter reserves the right to immediately terminate your account without further notice in the event that, in its judgment, you violate these Rules or the Terms of Service.

We may revise these Rules from time to time; the most current version will always be at twitter.com/rules.

Have Questions?

Check out our complete list of articles outlining our policies, guidelines, and best practices.

To report an account for violation of the Twitter Rules, please use our forms.