Recently, I discovered yet another method that scammers are getting people to cough up their Facebook passwords. After hearing from a few friends that their Facebook accounts were hijacked through one method or another, I realized that it’s high time to at least try and put a lid on one particular method of Facebook scamming known as the “Stalker Tracker” on Facebook.
Additionally, I’m going to try to satisfy the demand for legitimate services that might not be “Stalker Tracker” on Facebook, but it provides at least some of the visitor tracking features you may be looking for. And anyway, I really should write something nice to make up for writing that article about how to use social engineering to view someone’s private Facebook profile.
The most important message I’d like to convey with this article is this – there is no such thing as a Stalker Tracker on Facebook, and no such thing as a Profile Tracker or any other service that promises to show you who has viewed your profile. Now, this isn’t to say that there was never such a feature offered by Facebook. For a very short period, there was an app called Gawker, which created a sort of “Stalker List” for Facebook visitors on your profile – showing who visited your profile most often.
In a very short time frame, the app was removed from Facebook due to serious privacy concerns. At this point, Facebook will not allow any service or code on anyone’s profile that violates the privacy of Facebook members – and that includes the privacy people feel entitled to when they view your profile. This is unfortunate, because even if you follow the sort of rules Tina outlined to avoid getting stalked, sometimes stalking happens, and it would be good to know so that the person can be blocked.
The History of Stalker Tracker on Facebook
The major push of the Stalker Tracker sort of scams took place in 2007 when the Blue China Group ran a scam against MySpace users called Stalker Tracker. Operating from a website called StalkerTrack.com (no longer active), the group offered MySpace members the promise of seeing what users were “stalking” their profile most often. As with many of these sorts of scams, the site lists the service as in “Beta” testing, or otherwise not yet active, but users can sign up for the service using their MySpace (or in today’s version, Facebook) ID and password. Newer versions go by Facebook Profile Tracker, Profile Tracker, Stalker Tracker for Facebook, or some other variation.
Ultimately, every one of these apps is set up to do one thing and one thing only – scam you and hijack your account. Let me make this very clear – Facebook Privacy Rules do not allow for publicly opening up member viewing activities. There’s no getting around this rule, no matter what some third party application vendor promises.
Are There Any Facebook Profile Trackers That Work?
Even though there’s no way to see who’s viewing your profile, there’s still a tremendous demand out there, particular among the growing population of Facebook users, for some kind of tool to see who’s viewing your profile. There are ways to see some of the activity that takes place on your profile page, but the solutions are by no means going to show you the identity of your visitors. At one point, there was even a solution called Stalker Checker, or Stalker Check, which really did allow you to see which members were most active on your profile. It was called the Facebook StalkerCheck.
While the application couldn’t show you who was viewing your account, it did show you the people who were posting or otherwise most active on your account. Now, this isn’t exactly telling you anything you don’t already know, but it had a number of people up in arms because it did show a spouse or significant other whether or not particular people (like a former girlfriend) were constantly keeping in touch with you on Facebook through profile or photo comments. Not exactly a privacy issue per se, but apparently Facebook has once again decided to pull the plug on yet another application that monitors user activity in some way.
On August 19th of last year, Stalker Checker posted the following comment to their fan page:
“(To all old fans) Facebook have done something to the Stalker Check group. We dont know what has happend, but are trying to get contact whit someone from the facebook office. The group was totaly gone this morning. We have now restarted the group. And hope you all can join again! We had alot of fans so if you out there… could help us bring some fans back it would be great! Thanks!”
Clicking on the application link for Stalker Checker turns up the following error.
It appears that even an app that simply aggregates user activity on your profile is no longer allowed on Facebook. However, being the crafty geek that you are, you know that wherever HTML is allowed (like on your wall), there’s a way to monitor user view counts, at least.
Monitoring Your Profile View Count With StatTracker
Just sign up and then fill in the project settings (none of it really matters, you’ll need need to remember the title you define here for when you want to check your stats). Next, make sure you choose the invisible tracker.
Finally, you’ve got your code. Now let’s just go into Facebook and figure out where to insert that snippet. In your Facebook profile, if you don’t yet have the ability to insert “boxes” or otherwise add sidebar HTML onto your profile, you’ll need to add an application like “MyStuff” by Gigya, which is what I use. In “My Stuff,” you simply click “Add Code” and you can paste the code that will get added to your profile in the side Nav bar.
Once you’re done, everyone who visits your profile page will see a small, empty space.
Once you have this HTML pasted on your profile like this, any time someone visits your profile page, you’ll see the StatCounter numbers increase. Your stats page shows you how many visitors you’ve had up to a month back in time.
While this particular technique doesn’t exactly live up to the grand promises of apps like the Stalker Tracker on Facebook – there’s a big difference. This technique isn’t a scam. And while it won’t show you who’s stalking you on Facebook, it’ll at least show you how popular you are…or not!
Do you know of any other ways to see how many people viewed your Facebook profile? Do you know of any Facebook apps that accomplish the same thing? Share your insight in the comments section below.