This story was first published on January 10, 2014
Circulating message advises Facebook users to type the word “security” into Facebook’s “Block Users” function to reveal and block hackers.
The claims in the message are nonsense. Following the instructions will simply pull up a list of Facebook users that have the word “security” in their profiles. These people are not hackers. Any string of text entered into the block field will reveal a list of users. The advice in the message is spurious and sharing it with others will only cause confusion and undue concern. The message is similar to a much earlier hoax that claimed that entering the words “Automation Labs” will reveal a list of people who are able to access your Facebook account.
Hi if your computer is playing up you need to check your security settings, I have and I have blocked about 30 people who were trying to hack my computer.
go to you account settings, then it will bring you to another page click on blocking in the left hand column, it will bring a box up to type in. in that box type security then copy it so u don’t have to keep typing it now click on block beside where u have typed security. U will b shocked at how many names appear u need to block all. Some say facebook security block them all they r hackers.
According to a message currently circulating on Facebook, users can ensure that hackers cannot access their accounts by entering the word “security” into Facebook’s “Block Users” search field and blocking the names that appear. The message includes instructions detailing how users can perform the search and notes that people will likely be shocked at how many “hackers” they discover.
However, the claims in the message are utter nonsense. Entering the word “security” into the Block Users search simply presents a list of Facebook users that may have “security” somewhere in their profile. These people are not criminals that are targeting your account. They are just random Facebook users. Any word or phrase you enter in the search field is likely to give a list of people that have that word or phrase in their profiles.
The message is a revamped version of the old Automation Labs hoax that had many Facebook users in a state of panic back in 2010. The older hoax claimed that entering the words “Automation Labs” in the Block Users search would reveal a list of people who were able to access your Facebook account. As with the current version, the claims in the message were utter nonsense.
The current version may be making a nebulous and unhelpful reference to a series of Facebook phishing scams that appear to come from “Facebook Security”. The scams typically use strange or non-standard characters in their names. Searching for the phrase “Facebook Security” may possibly reveal some compromised accounts but will also likely list perfectly legitimate users.
Thus, the tactic described is not an adequate or reliable method of finding such compromised accounts. And the scam accounts cannot access or have any connection to your account whatsoever unless you fall for a “Facebook Security” phishing scam message and submit your Facebook login details to the criminals.
Thus, this spurious tip is only likely to cause confusion and unnecessary concern among Facebook users. Sharing this inaccurate and misleading information will help nobody.
Importance NoticeAfter considerable thought and with an ache in my heart, I have decided that the time has come to close down the Hoax-Slayer website.
These days, the site does not generate enough revenue to cover expenses, and I do not have the financial resources to sustain it going forward.
Moreover, I now work long hours in a full-time and physically taxing job, so maintaining and managing the website and publishing new material has become difficult for me.
And finally, after 18 years of writing about scams and hoaxes, I feel that it is time for me to take my fingers off the keyboard and focus on other projects and pastimes.
When I first started Hoax-Slayer, I never dreamed that I would still be working on the project all these years later or that it would become such an important part of my life. It's been a fantastic and engaging experience and one that I will always treasure.
I hope that my work over the years has helped to make the Internet a little safer and thwarted the activities of at least a few scammers and malicious pranksters.
A Big Thank YouI would also like to thank all of those wonderful people who have supported the project by sharing information from the site, contributing examples of scams and hoaxes, offering suggestions, donating funds, or helping behind the scenes.
I would especially like to thank David White for his tireless contribution to the Hoax-Slayer Facebook Page over many years. David's support has been invaluable, and I can not thank him enough.
Closing DateHoax-Slayer will still be around for a few weeks while I wind things down. The site will go offline on May 31, 2021. While I will not be publishing any new posts, you can still access existing material on the site until the date of closure.
Thank you, one and all!