Bits from Bill

Technology thoughts leaking from the brain of "Bill Pytlovany"

Friday, April 10, 2009

Privacy Warning using Facebook on a Network.

First let me say, if anyone else wrote this I’d say they were crazy.

I had a big surprise this morning when I clicked on a Facebook link and saw I had new friends.   I was even more surprised when I noticed I wasn’t signed on as myself, but was signed on as Cindi my wife.

Using normal logic I would have thought my wife had used my computer. I knew that couldn’t be true because Cindi hates my computer.  My laptop is a ThinkPad x61 with a track-point and doesn’t even have a a mouse touchpad.  My laptop hadn’t left my side since last using Facebook and even if it had, she wouldn’t have been able to use it.

Thinkpad Trackpoint

How could this happen?  All the common sense within me says that Facebook would use cookies on my machine as a way to remember me. What I experienced today implies some kind of IP address related connection. That would be stupid right?

We both use the same wireless network but still, that shouldn’t have anything to do with it.  This makes no sense to me, and some might think I’m crazy but I feel a need to share it. It really did  happen so it can only be a flaw in Facebook or some kind of weird network error.

Do you use Facebook at work on a network?  Do you say anything you wouldn’t want you co-workers to see?  Even in private messages? Well, Stop.  The only reason I started to use Facebook was to write about privacy but I never expected this.

If this has happen to you or if anyone has a better explanation… please comment.


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Blogger Gary said...

My wife, daughter, and I all share a home network, and all have Facebook accounts. We have never had this issue. Looking forward to finding out the cause though.

2:52 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

"when I clicked on a Facebook link" What was the link? Perhaps credentials or session info were in the URL?kk

4:39 PM  
Blogger Bill Pytlovany said...

Good point but no, the link was actually a friend request for someone unrelated to either of us.

I copy and pasted the link as I frequently do so I could confirm what it was.


6:36 PM  
Anonymous David Oxley said...

Never had that problem before, even with an entire family on Facebook. I'd still side with Anonymous on this one...even if it was someone unrelated to either of you, was the request sent to you or your wife? There's a lot of info packed into that URL, and something in there must've triggered it...

That, or your wife is sneaking nightly Facebook sessions on your laptop, trackpad and all. :)

11:33 PM  
Blogger Big Geek Daddy said...

By any chance are you using OpenDNS and could that have had something to do with it?

9:44 AM  
Blogger Bill Pytlovany said...

Ooooh Ooooh A clue.
I do use OpenDNS!
Do tell, how do you think that would cause this?
Tell me more.

However... my router doesn't let me set it so "my" laptop and Desktop have been configured to use OpenDNS but Cindi's laptop hasn't been setup to use OpenDNS.



9:54 AM  
Blogger Big Geek Daddy said...

It's a long shot but perhaps something to do with the Cache OpenDNS was/is using...maybe it didn't refresh? I'm probably in left field here since Cindi's laptop doesn't use OpenDNS but it's the first thing that came to mind.

10:06 AM  
Blogger George, Group Admin said...

I manually flush my DNS cache at the end off every day.

Sometimes every session, depending on where I have been visiting.


10:29 PM  
Blogger Beto said...

Morning Bill, I don't use facebook but I'd like to say that this happened to me on ORKUT, I just canceled my profile on it. Without any approval by my side someone added itself into my friendlist. Nevertheless to say that internet isn't so secure as we thought it could be.

9:08 AM  
Blogger Don said...

Hi Bill,
Any followup on this? My wife and I have separate Facebook accounts and our computers are ten feet apart from each other. This has never happened to us. Just wondering if you figured anything out.

6:42 PM  

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