A fake Facebook message is urging users to not approve a friend request submitted by hacker who goes by the name Jayden K Smith.
This hoax has many variants. All versions say the same thing: don’t approve Jayden K Smith as friend or they’ll hack a user’s account, target their Facebook friends, and thereby spread their influence. Craig Charles of ThatsNonsense.com shares one variety of this con:
“Please tell all the contacts in your Messenger list, not to accept Jayden K. Smith friendship request. He is a hacker and has the system connected to your Facebook account. If one of your contacts accepts it, you will also be hacked, so make sure that all your friends know it. Thanks. Forwarded as received.”
There’s nothing new about these warnings. Fake hacker alerts have been circulating on social media for months, if not longer. They all assert that approving a particular friend request will surrender account access to a bad actor.
But that’s not how hacking works. To obtain access to a user’s Facebook account, nefarious individuals need to steal their username and password for the social media site. Unless those login credentials are (unadvisedly) hidden somewhere on a private Facebook profile that only approved friends can view, there’s no risk that a new contact could seamlessly hack a user’s account.
This hoax isn’t altogether harmless, however. Charles elaborates on that point:
“… [A]dding strangers on Facebook isn’t a good idea, and can potentially lead to compromising your privacy and your security, albeit not in the manner described in this warning. Accepting strangers gives them access to more of your personal information which can lead to issues such as identity theft.”
Facebook users should therefore be careful about who they approve as friends. For added protection, they should familiarize themselves with common scams that circulate the social networking site. They should also learn how to navigate social media platforms like Facebook safely.