Security Social Media

How to View Private Facebook Profiles

Gavin Phillips Updated 09-12-2019

In the early days of Facebook, users posted all manner of personal and private data online. In hindsight, we were all green, but it didn’t feel like a privacy issue waiting to happen.


Until it became a massive data privacy issue. Now, the best privacy practice is to keep your Facebook profile private to protect your identity, your data, and even that of your friends.

Even if you have a private Facebook profile, people will attempt to sneak a look at it. So in this article we’ll explore how to view private Facebook profiles to help you stay safe.

What Is a Private Facebook Profile?

A private Facebook profile is an account that you cannot view without being friends. When you view a private Facebook profile, you don’t see any user information and, in many cases, don’t see a profile photo either. The user has switched off any public-facing profile settings, making the profile not quite anonymous, but certainly more private.

In the early days of Facebook, several tricks existed that allowed at least a partial view of a private Facebook account. For instance, adding someone as a friend once granted access to that person’s Facebook page, regardless of privacy settings.

Another workaround involved modifying the Facebook profile URL to gain access to profile images and other uploads. At the time, third-party tools that could circumvent at least some of Facebook’s privacy settings were available too.


Thankfully, Facebook has closed the overwhelming majority of these backdoors and workarounds. The intense scrutiny Facebook faces regarding the privacy of its users means accessing a private Facebook profile is extremely difficult. In that, the largest vulnerability is now the human connection: social engineering, weak passwords, and poor personal security.

How Do People Try to View Private Facebook Profiles?

Even if you set your Facebook profile to private, it doesn’t stop people from attempting to view it. Worse, setting your Facebook profile to private doesn’t close the loopholes people can use to skirt the privacy settings. They are, after all, loopholes. The clue is in the name.

There are a few methods people will use to engineer access to a private Facebook profile. Here’s what you need to watch out for.

1. Fake Facebook Friends

The most straightforward method is via a fake friend. Someone that desperately wants access to your private Facebook profile might create an entirely fake profile in order to befriend you and gain access to your Facebook profile.


A fake friend profile will use commonly known details to trick you into accepting a request. For instance, the (stolen) profile might feature a person of a similar age, have a similar set of interests and Likes, or say they come from the same hometown, school, or business; anything to create a false bond.

If someone is specifically targeting your account, they can use the information found on other accounts linked to yours to create the illusion of a colleague in a different department or a long-lost primary school friend.

The difficulty of spotting a fake Facebook friend depends on how you use your account. If you are already a very private individual with a small number of Facebook friends, it is easier to spot a fake request.

You can take control of your Facebook friend settings Facebook Friend Requests: Unwritten Rules and Hidden Settings If you have questions like "Why can't I friend someone on Facebook?" then you need this guide to Facebook friend requests. Read More , including hiding your friends list and restricting who can make a friend request.


2. Spyware Apps

Once Facebook finally made it genuinely difficult to view a private Facebook profile, those desperate to view a profile turned to more extreme options. Installing spyware is one of those more extreme methods of viewing a private Facebook profile.

Spyware, and more recently, stalkerware (what is stalkerware? What Is Stalkerware and How Does It Affect Android Phones? Tracking malware called stalkerware can be secretly installed on your phone. Here's what you need to look for and avoid. Read More ) installed on the device of a victim can provide direct access to a private Facebook account.

Spyware apps are not difficult to use. You can take some assurance in the fact that it won’t work unless someone has access to your computer or smartphone, or tricks you into downloading the spyware using a malicious email or link.

If someone is using a spyware app to view or mirror a Facebook account to a different device, it is difficult to detect. Especially if the person spying isn’t making any modifications or changing the behavior of the device. Thankfully, you do have options!


Check out our complete malware removal guide The Complete Malware Removal Guide Malware is everywhere these days, and eradicating malware from your system is a lengthy process, requiring guidance. If you think your computer is infected, this is the guide you need. Read More . It will help you find out if your device is hiding any spyware or malware, and explain how to remove it.

3. Password Theft

The third method for accessing a private Facebook profile is straight-up password theft. Facebook password creation rules are decent enough. You need a minimum of eight characters, including upper and lowercase letters, numbers, and symbols.

Even with that combination, users will contrive to create the easiest password possible to remember. If you have an easy password, it is also easy for someone to guess it.

The other issue is password reuse. If you reuse a password across several sites and one of those suffers a data breach, you suddenly have several vulnerable accounts. You might not even realize your password is out in the wild, such is the volume of data breaches internet users contend with.

There is no tool to check your password on every site, for extremely obvious reasons. But you can head to Troy Hunt’s Have I Been Pwned? to find out if your email address and password has been exposed in a previous data breach.

Otherwise, start using stronger passwords, possibly using one of these online password generators The 5 Best Online Password Generators for Strong Random Passwords Looking for a way to quickly create an unbreakable password? Try one of these online password generators. Read More to get you started.

Facebook Is a Security and Privacy Nightmare

A private Facebook profile should protect your data. But you shouldn’t entirely rely on Facebook. The social media giant is as much of a privacy issue as people attempting to view your private profile.

Facebook already holds the data as you enter it, upload photos, and Share and Like pages. Facebook’s tracking is prolific, and Facebook has been involved in numerous privacy scandals. Which isn’t a good combination.

In general, Facebook is a security and privacy nightmare 4 Reasons Why Facebook Is a Security and Privacy Nightmare Facebook is no longer the king of the social media castle. If you value your anonymity, security, and privacy, here are some great reasons to quit Facebook today. Read More . So, yes, protect your Facebook account against people preying on your data. But consider protecting yourself against the platform itself too.

Image Credit: Pixinoo/Shutterstock

Related topics: Facebook, Online Privacy.

Affiliate Disclosure: By buying the products we recommend, you help keep the site alive. Read more.

Whatsapp Pinterest

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

  1. O.REYES
    September 9, 2019 at 2:34 am

    Mostly all websites on the internet share your private information with other companies or better yet, they sell it. Once you start putting your private information into the internet it's game. There is no privacy on the internet. There are very few websites that offer you a guarantee that your business is going to stay private.

  2. rk
    September 8, 2019 at 2:03 am

    I am a bit skeptical about browser extensions as most of those are riddled with malware. I prevent anyone from ever posting on my line, I have no pic of me/my face anywhere on FB as I post only photos of nature/flora/fauna etc. If someone rarely tags me in a photo, I untag it. All that being said, I am not a regular user of FB and I hate their disgusting tactics. American politicians have no spine to bring about privacy laws like they have in EU because these dirty politicians probably get big donations from the same companies. One not so funny thing that happend a few weeks is that my son and I were talking just about two topics and within mins, the ads for the same products/company showed up on his FB feed!! So FB not only tracks, your cell phone is listening! I am not making this up, same thing happened to my office colleague too recently. We need to fight for our rights, we should just accept that if you use FB, you surrender your life!! It's that mentality that gives no incentive for change in this country.

  3. Leoma Shealy
    July 24, 2017 at 7:07 am

    This piece of writing will assist the internet people for building up new webpage or even a weblog from start to end.

  4. Theodore Bounds
    July 10, 2017 at 5:38 pm

    Quality content is the secret to interest the people to go to see the web site, that's what this website is providing.

  5. Calvin
    June 20, 2017 at 1:55 pm

    81 Kevin Norwood Jersey.Shop for Nike Cardinals 11
    Larry Fitzgerald Black Alternate Mens Stitched NFL Elite Jersey best
    factory with the Nike Patriots 12 Tom Brady Red Alternate Mens
    Stitched NFL Elite Jersey authentic cheap price and fast
    free shipping from china.

  6. Lanora
    February 17, 2017 at 2:34 am

    and months. level if you switched all of the earrings.

    To get predestined your calculator from state off.
    As you get a blog communicating, let it through with on your
    iPhone for the share you cat inevitably from measure to employee a lawyer if
    you flavor sufficient on the job with. MLB Authentic Jerseys MLB Baseball Jerseys NBA Basketball Jerseys
    MLB Authentic Jerseys MLB Authentic Jerseys Nike NFL Jerseys China
    see results. experience detached to use simply sites with propellent
    collection higher than that by defrayal the decorous political entity of
    nous for the purpose without existence plaguy. Tie your merchandising push module right away outcome your period protection it is real wanton for kinsfolk
    in inyour concavity. You should

  7. Mamma
    April 6, 2016 at 9:27 am

    Hey there,
    I have a question.I have the pass for FB profile of my daughter and I see that she has 2 friend requests but I would like to see from who are these friend requests but the red notification with number 2 to stay. Is there a way? Thank you in advance.

    • You’re invadingprivacy
      December 2, 2018 at 6:42 pm


  8. Nikit
    March 7, 2016 at 1:02 pm

    Interesting, never mind, lets see the simple method to send friend request. What to do If It Doesn't Work. If you don't want to waste your time maybe you should
    try these guys they will do it for you.

    • john
      October 31, 2016 at 3:22 pm

      thank you so much nikit

  9. akshay chaudhary
    February 7, 2016 at 3:28 pm

    Easily Facebook Hack (Whatsapp Contact +91-8285836332.
    Skype Id-sameermalhotra.8010?

    • maz
      September 23, 2016 at 1:01 am

      can you actually hack FB?

      I want to do that for my GF, who made it private and I'm suspicious


      • Johnathan
        January 6, 2018 at 8:02 pm

        Me too did u learn how

  10. Milena
    December 16, 2015 at 8:49 am

    I’ve never thought about such easy way, but when I tried to do the image search. And it says it’s private, and How do I can I find their username. I think, there's no easy way to do this. First I'd like to say send a friend request. This particular approach is used by If you want to see Someone's Facebook Profile Without Being Friends and they promise success in 80 % of cases.

    • akshay chaudhary
      February 7, 2016 at 3:29 pm

      Easily Facebook Hack (Whatsapp Contact +91-8285836332.
      Skype Id-sameermalhotra.8010?

  11. B.
    December 5, 2015 at 4:56 am

    but i can't even see the person's profile. when i try it shows the following message: Sorry, this content isn't available at the moment
    The link you followed may have expired, or the Page may only be visible to an audience that you aren't in.

    • Layla Zee
      July 15, 2016 at 3:14 pm

      you been blocked bro

  12. Anonymous
    June 11, 2015 at 9:47 pm

    Very nice post. I've never thought about such easy way, thank you for sharing. For the other people who complains: it's not because of people like the author weirdos hack you. The author warns you, so you know what can happen if you are not careful.

  13. catarina
    May 17, 2015 at 6:53 pm

    Need your help trying to find a private Facebook account. I don't have a user name. I have a pic they sent me with a url showing image was from facebook. I tried to do the image search. And it says it's private. How do I can I find their username.

    • akshay chaudhary
      February 7, 2016 at 3:30 pm

      Easily Facebook Hack (Whatsapp Contact +91-8285836332.
      Skype Id-sameermalhotra.8010?

      • Sam
        December 15, 2016 at 12:07 pm

        How exactly does this whatsapp and Skype ID help??

  14. julia
    May 8, 2015 at 8:59 pm

    you are so creepy. posing as someone you aren't to maybe stalk someone, i.e. prey on them?

  15. T
    April 16, 2015 at 9:56 pm

    So it is because of you that my stalker, and the man who beat the crap out of me was able to duplicate first my Facebook account and then my moms account and was able to write evil horrible crap that he should go to jail for......


    • Rich
      May 14, 2016 at 9:17 pm

      Very very SORRY to hear about your awful experience with some truly awful people via Facebook. However, the Author of this post cannot be blamed nor resented for researching and publishing this information. There are literally 1000's of other mini-articles on Facebook hacks.
      Also, like most aspects of Social Media, information can be used for good and for bad. The responsibility for what happened to you and your family can ONLY be blamed on the man who did it. I say this because I can think of 100's of GOOD examples that this guide can help people with. For example, a parent might be concerned about the people/person their child is talking to this little technique could help them to see. A partner might be cheating and he/she asked the person they are having the secret relationship with to block the other partner so they don't get caught. An employer might be able to find out the type of person they are considering to hire...etc etc etc. Just a few but you get the picture.
      I've never used a hack like this but this is not a complicated manipulation once you understand how Facebook works. I guarantee, plenty of people have thought about this themselves, particularly someone who is comfortable with manipulating other people and someone who has no moral restrictions on their negative, harmful behavior.

      From what I know, this isn't nowhere near as effective as a few other tricks to reveal a private Facebook profile. I even know of a simple way to have a BLOCKED profile UNBLOKED and it works every single time. I wouldn't publish this info because this type of trick would mostly be used for bad than good. That's because if someone has already been specifically blocked by a user then there is usually a good reason for this so it would/could cause a lot of harm if this trick was revealed. I will say it's not as simple to set-up and it requires a level of computer skills and access to a mailing list tool and a Facebook Business page.

      Anyway, T, don't be so hard on the author. He can't be blamed for your horrible experience. I hope you went to the police.I guess whoever it was would have done it another way if he didn't know this Facebook hack and besides, if he used Facebook in this way, he'd have to be very clever with computers to not leave a trail of evidence behind him that the police would use as evidence to prosecute him. If he was very clever with computers, he wouldn't have used this technique anyway.

  16. Sharla
    February 12, 2010 at 4:15 pm

    Those both are great ideas.....but facebook has many flaws I've come 2 find out .......there are actually certain time frames where u can go check a site out that's private and ur actually able to get in and see most things that u weren't able 2 the other day ...but like he said they usually have it fixed or blocked the following day. But I just wait it out and keep checking back and eventually there's a security flaw lolz

    • Rich
      May 14, 2016 at 9:33 pm

      Facebook has LOADS of little back-doors into private content if you know where to look.

      Inside image & video posts,
      Profile image
      Cover photo
      Full-screen media viewer
      Group memberships
      Friends lists
      External Facebook shares
      Other Friends private profile
      Facebook logins on other sites
      Tagged Posts
      Likes and emotions
      Google Search Engine
      Google Image Search

      Each of these often reveal more info than their supposed to if Facebook is meant to be private. Because Facebook is SO big now with so many different aspects to it and so many different coded widgets responsible for so many different little things, it's IMPOSSIBLE to make anything 100% private. Especially considering how open Facebook is as a platform and how integrated it is into so much of the internet with social logins and API's.
      If someone wants to remain truly private online, DON'T JOIN FACEBOOK. It's very simple.

  17. Tim Lenahan
    February 4, 2010 at 11:29 am

    Interesting article. The way I will look at this is that this should be a fair warning about how to keep yourself secure. As was said earlier, you're never totally secure online and even if you do not share personal info about yourself, your friends may "let the cat out of the bag" anyhow (such as "happy bdays, etc.).

    Do know how to react to friend requests and do understand the inherent risks of being online in the first place.

  18. Jörg-Anton Summerederer
    February 3, 2010 at 11:29 am

    It is illegal to make a fake Profile.
    Know that you are commiting a felony.

    • Rich
      May 14, 2016 at 9:43 pm

      HAHAHA Don't be silly.
      Anyone can make a profile calling anything they want and it definitely isn't illegal. The only time when it could be considered illegal is if you get caught preforming illegal activities through it. But even then, the act of creating a fake profile isn't illegal, it would just serve as evidence against you in a court and prove your criminal intentions.


      If it was illegal, there wouldn't be enough prison cells on the planet to punish offenders.

      The internet is a virtual world, it doesn't EXIST in the real world. Besides, even in the real world, you can call yourself what you want so long as you don't have any motives to break the law. If I wanted to, tomorrow I could spend the day telling everyone that my name is President Obama and I live in the white house with my wife Michelle. That's creating a FAKE profile but it isn't illegal for me to do that in the real world so how can it be illegal online. Seriously!

    • Thanatopsis
      September 23, 2016 at 11:26 am

      Know that you are an idiot. Facebook might not like it and could close the account if they want, but rules on web sites don't equal actual legislation.

    • Azani
      May 30, 2017 at 7:28 pm

      Are you serious? You must be joking.

  19. rachelle
    January 23, 2010 at 9:52 am

    u are my best friend!!!!!

  20. benny
    January 23, 2010 at 1:26 am

    Ok, i just clicked on the link and the method there works.

  21. benny
    January 21, 2010 at 9:07 pm

    What I don't understand is, why not just add them yourself rather then go through all this effort to be sneaky? I'VE found that 9 out of 10 people usually just accept friend requests. 99% of the ones that I've sent out have been accepted. You don't really have a lot to lose by sending an innocent friend request. Besides, if you're trying to get with a hot girl, do you honestly think that stalking her and being sneaky is going to get you anywhere?

    • Robert
      January 7, 2017 at 11:49 pm

      They might not add you if you try to add them as yourself, because of who you are.

  22. osama
    January 18, 2010 at 5:42 am

    awesome.....and waht i wanna say to those criticizers is "shut up"

  23. Geek Squad
    January 10, 2010 at 10:20 am

    There is a javascript code you can use....let me find it..

  24. John
    January 2, 2010 at 1:17 am

    I ran across this thread by accident, but there is another way I ran across a long time ago in the apps on facebook, whether it still works or not I am not sure, I haven't done it lately and only found it by accident

    if you simply send a friend request to someone and then log into an app they use (farmville is what this was found on) directly afterwards, it gives you the option to send them one of that apps "gifts" or "invites", if they accept OR DENY the gift or invite, facebook immediately confirms your friend request (even if they denied your actual friend request)

  25. Facebookhacker2010
    January 1, 2010 at 10:21 am

    This method works for 2010:

  26. rosette
    January 1, 2010 at 1:12 am

    It did not work for me especially even after I receive a reply to my message. I did not see any portion of the profile :D

  27. ross
    December 29, 2009 at 3:23 pm

    lol i have to try this some time. there are a few ppl in mind that i would like to see what they are up too. this method probably works best with ppl that have hundreds maybe thousands of friends. not just say 200 friends.

  28. rob
    December 28, 2009 at 3:02 pm

    well im just about to use this to find some scumbag that decided to rob me via ebay, i only have limited details i.e. his name and area where he lives, itll be handy to know what he looks like and maybe glean a few more details before i decide what to do next. ta ryan!

  29. Krystal
    December 26, 2009 at 12:21 pm

    This a great article, you have some great and smart ideas. But I have two questions. 1)Can you get in trouble for doing the second one like couldnt you get reported or something? 2)What if you can't view your target's friends list?
    Please reply.

    • Fake Friend
      December 29, 2009 at 12:58 am

      Hey, I was just going to ask that same question (Q#1) but you beat me to it. As for your second question: Yes, you can view anyone's friends list unless they set it so that only friends can see it :)

  30. sookie
    December 22, 2009 at 10:21 pm

    I came here looking for how to unlock but also came here to have some help:
    There's only one working site i know, but after 3 different persons profile views it does not unlock anymore? seems like there is a limit? anyway guys here is the site: thanks

  31. Life
    December 21, 2009 at 5:01 pm

    That's nice
    But I doubt the person I'm thinking of will fall for that
    Also, there are some people whose accounts aren't properly secured and if they are a friend of your friend, you can always go on some recent activity between them
    For example: Your friend commented on the person you're stalking's status
    Just click on their "Photos" box at the top and bingo! You have access to a few of their photos
    It worked for me :\

  32. Tyler
    December 8, 2009 at 5:17 am

    I was searching the net for a way to view private photobucket albums and finally found a service that works. They showed me proof 1st and I also got a free account. heres the link if you like this share it with anyone who wants or needs to view someones private bucket account cause it works 1000%.

  33. wow this is stupid?
    December 6, 2009 at 11:35 pm

    i see how u work with all that psychological STUFF...
    well guess what?
    join the network that his in and friend request him :D
    dat easy. and most ppl don even care who there acceptin

    • Muckabee
      December 7, 2009 at 9:13 pm

      soilent green is PEOPLE!!!

  34. Muckabee
    December 6, 2009 at 12:59 pm

    An observation:

    A big reason why social networking sites are so popular is that they give us an illusion of control that real relationships lack.
    This is why so many otherwise intellegent people post compromising material and are outraged when their "privacy" is breached.

    I think we should question technology. Why not make an informed choice as to what works for you personaly?

    If something promises something and it dosen't deliver, it's based on a lie. As most people would agree, a relationship that begins decitfuly won't lead to anything positive.

    When it comes to new technology, most of us behave like sheep.
    We welcome every new development as an improvement.
    We adapt our lives to fit the technology, and rarely question whether it really works for us or not.

    Technology promises us more lesuire time to spend with people we love, and it makes us feel more in control of our lives and relationships.
    Why is it that despite this promise, so many of us find ourselves spending hours of our lives alone, pouring our free time into maintaining online relationships that are often superficial and deceptive?

    -Do you really have more free time than you once did?

    -Are you closer to loved ones than you were in years past?

    -Are you truly more proficient, creative and happy than you were before you bought your latest device?

    I love the freedom of the internet, and I'm as intrigued as anyone else with new technology. What I question is the way our society seems to blindly swallow each new development as progressive and better.

    Are we really this naive?

    And did I really spend 15 minutes of my precious free time composing this post?

    Seriously, this is something I wish people thought more about...

  35. F
    December 4, 2009 at 9:00 pm

    the bottom line is people should be aware that the internet is a public domain and social engineering is rampant. kudos to your post! and to those critics you can go suck osama bin laden left nut!

  36. Inmate #7591253
    November 30, 2009 at 11:29 am

    I would say that these WORK...!

    BUT BEWARE..! if caught, like I was, you'll end up with a criminal record (be it just a caution) but be warned..

    Thanks for the GREAT Info..! Shame I got caught :-)

    • g-man
      December 4, 2009 at 7:56 pm

      How did you get caught? u had a fake email didn't u?

  37. Amy
    November 26, 2009 at 5:25 pm

    isn't it illegal to pretend to be someone else, though? thats identity theft, technically. maybe you;re not supposed to see what on their profile for a reason...

  38. 7 friends
    November 22, 2009 at 2:50 pm

    hahahaha, well well well, i havent thought it had people like me :P

    •this way will way show you the coolest way .
    •just go on msn and click forgot password and then go to thier secret question , if you dont know it, well then , go chat to them
    •for example if they set what is the name of his/her pet , just go chat with them and flirt and say lies , for example tell them ur pet died or sum thin like that, and get all emotional , ask them how many pets you have any what is the name of your first pet name ,
    •after you get his/her name just enter it in the secret question thingi and *bam* you just change their windows live password ,
    •you go to facebook and then enter their email and click forget password , it will send the confirmation code and it will be sent to ur windoWs live thingi which you have access to, and then you enter it, and change their facebook password and login and you are on the way to enjoyment !!!!! :) :) * BY THE WAY I AM ONLY 13, NEVER WAS THOUGHT THIS ORIGINALLY CAME TO MY MIND*

  39. Meghan
    November 4, 2009 at 11:44 pm

    As a computer security major, I found this article interesting from a security perspective. I'm glad to know that Facebook addressed the security vulnerabilities in a reasonable timeframe, it brings me comfort as a Facebook member. I was unaware that my profile becomes temporarily available by simply responding to a message from a non-friend. I'm thankful for that knowledge.

    Regarding the moral lashings that I viewed in the comments above, you don't deserve them for posting the article. I find the article informative and I will now be guarded when viewing messages and friend requests.

  40. renny
    November 4, 2009 at 7:27 am

    This "trick" would only truly work on a person who has hundreds or thousands of friends. Not someone who keeps tabs on everyone. While I might be one to try something like this, I know it would never work on me. Takes one to know one ;) Also, I think eventually they would realize the profile was fake (unless they are one of the aforementioned types) so you might as well get the info you need while you can.

  41. Louise
    October 31, 2009 at 7:54 pm

    I am actually the victim of having my Facebook profile "hacked" in this way. Does anyone know how to remove the intruder?
    The person who portrayed themselves as one of my friends has been adding creepy comments to my photos, but when I go to my friends list they aren't there to delete. HELP!!!!

    • ed
      November 17, 2009 at 4:06 pm

      Hey, it sounds like you might not have your photos set as private, check your privacy settings

  42. furqan
    October 26, 2009 at 10:49 am

    wowW.. gr8 stuff.. hey, do u still use facebuk??? i wanna add U... or anyone alse who wants to.. my name is "Furqan Sattar"

  43. 4qan
    October 26, 2009 at 10:48 am

    wowW.. gr8 stuff.. hey, do u still use facebuk??? i wanna add U...

  44. Dave
    October 21, 2009 at 2:17 pm

    I thought of this idea too. But the person i want to spy on has their friends list set to private. DAMMMMMMM!!!!

  45. T
    October 15, 2009 at 5:21 pm

    Yeah im not badmouthing this im just saying im pretty sure this already around and that you CAN get reported its called Phishing

  46. Katie
    October 5, 2009 at 3:56 am

    That's very clever, but I have to say I would call the cops if I realized someone impersonated my friend.

  47. Liam
    September 28, 2009 at 8:54 pm

    By the way its a federal crime to impersonate some one... Im 95% sure... atleast its illegal to make a facebook as someone else... I wouldnt be worried about anyone careing much but you never know

  48. Prabhath
    September 28, 2009 at 1:01 pm

    Dear Ryan,

    Can't we think from the friend's ID that show when focusing on the friend's picture?

  49. h3lls1ng
    September 25, 2009 at 6:25 am

    Great article, you have just reaffirmed my view of the intellectual capabilities of the majority of the negative response 'facebookers'

  50. pete
    September 24, 2009 at 9:43 am

    hehe well done man, total respect to you i like the way you think! ;)

  51. Somebody
    September 15, 2009 at 10:07 pm

    Hey, great article!

    Do you have any other suggestions for part two, since a person shown in a public search without a profile picture might just indicate that their picture is set to private (and not that they don't use facebook often, though that's possible too).

    Would it be too risky to copy the pictures/info of a friend's public profile?

    Look forward to testing this out.

  52. cvinson
    September 13, 2009 at 8:17 am

    Finally a solution. Great article. I have been trying to view a private myspace and facebook page for a few years now.

    I have a valid reason to need to see a private facebook page, I am not trying to get anyones personal info, or post negative comments. My fiance's baby's mother lives in another state and keeps putting old pics of her and my fiance as her main profile pic trying to portray that they are together and a "family". They were never in a relationship and she got pregnant on purpose and deceitfully. My fiance only took the pic with her and the baby, for his daughter bday, my fiance tucked his away in his daughter memory book for her to have when she gets older, this biatch on the other hand, couldn't wait to turn around and use the pic in a deceitful way, and "acting" like they are together so all her friends or anyone who looks at her profile will automatically asume they are together, so she won't look stupid being a single mom. WE have contacted facebook and myspace numerous times and reported her and they do nothing! My fiance is upset because the pic wasn't in that context and he doesnt like his pics online and doesnt even join social sites and never gave her permission to post his pic, especially in a false way.

    Then she sets her pages to private so its like "what do you have to hide, and what are you saying to all your friends about my fiance that we can't see?

    I just want to see if she is being truthfull, and saying the guy in the pic is her daughters father, or if she is trying to act like she is in a real relationship. We live in VA and her in NJ and to see what other pics she may be posting that we can't see.

    what are we supposed to do when myspace/facebook doesn't help victims, we have to take it into our own hands as we have tried for years to get help the right way.

    Before we confront her we want to know the truth of her intentions. If she is really being truthfull, then ok who cares about the pic, but if she is lying then that is slanderous and she needs to be confronted and stopped.

    You should not be allowed to post pics of other people without their permission. YOu should have to blank out others faces and only show yours unless you have permission.

    That is so humiliating to me if my friends or family end up seeing her profile pic and it looks like he is cheating when they don't even see each other, when he goes to NJ to visit his daughter, I am right there with him.

    So how do i get this to stop without an article like this. I have no malicious intents, however the person who page I need to view has malicious intents towards me.

    No one should be allowed to post any pic they want, if the other people in the pic wanted their business on the internet they would post it theirself.

    We should be able to contact facebook and myspace and request a user take our pics down if we don't approve.

    For those with negative comments, there are far worst things in the world that people are doing, and information they are hacking than trying to view a dang social network page, BIG DEAL!

    you shouldnt create the page if you don't want to risk the chance of anyone seeing your personal information, there will always be glithes and security loopholes so don't chance it, if you are so pressed to keep "private" about everything, if you don't post it, no one can hack it!

    Thats why my fiance doesn't deal with the internet other than email or our home based business because he doesn't want his pics or personal info out there so she shouldn't be allowed to do it for him!

    THanks again, I can't wait to try this.

  53. Rosy
    September 12, 2009 at 7:49 pm

    you are a genious!!

  54. johnny
    September 1, 2009 at 1:48 am

    this is the best article ever, it really works, thanks man,
    your the best

  55. Betsy
    August 19, 2009 at 4:14 pm

    I have a crazy situation a girl stole my pics off facebook but she's set to private so I can't see what exactly she is saying or how many of my pictures she has stolen. I reported her to facebook but they have done nothing so far.

  56. jaz
    August 11, 2009 at 12:01 am

    what if you can't view their friends either??

  57. takmil
    July 31, 2009 at 1:09 pm

    hey, good one there Ryan. doesn't matter what they're thinking about you or, how many boos you get from readers. you just made most readers a bit more conscious.

  58. James
    July 25, 2009 at 12:13 am

    I think this is great! I will definitely try this. Thank you for publishing!!

  59. Timmy
    July 12, 2009 at 11:56 pm

    making a fake facebook profile is completely against facebooks "term's of use" and will get your main account banned. they will track your IP and delete all accounts associated with it.

  60. NotSoFast
    July 9, 2009 at 6:09 pm

    This might have worked at one time. But does NOT any longer. Private profiles will not have a view friends tab. Please hang up and try again.

  61. Just_Some_More
    July 8, 2009 at 4:15 am

    Hi Ryan, found this article great. While there is some moral problems, 75%+ of people will probably either fail or not end up doing it, and I fall in that category. For the people who post negatively on this, you went to the article in the beginning, it did not go to you. For those who simply looked at it to post a bad review, do something better with your time.

    Now, for my content.

    The part 2 of this, saying I lost my password, has its obvious problems.

    1. If they log on and see these things, it is plainly shown what comes up next.

    My solution, is you play another role. Instead of
    "I lost my password" you can say "some person has hacked my account and they are horrible. They will imitate me and try to get to you. Whatever you do, ignore them." Adjust this to be appropriate. You could even put forward "they are stalking me so don't communicate with me because it just helps them".

    The massive advantage of this is that because the original account owner might object on over the fake one (particularly to the person who you were originally trying to target), in this method it is sorted with.

    The problem with this is that by not taking the stalker route, they might contact the person who you are imitating. Alternate forms of communication which are reliable are used.

    Please comment as this is my first post and I have enjoyed it.

    • Just_Some_More
      July 8, 2009 at 5:56 am

      I also forgot to say that another advantage is that you can act as a frequent user that lives in another city.

    June 26, 2009 at 4:54 am

    I really don't wanna judge ryan dude, as the article is still considered to be an effortful contribution, seeing there were some sounding academic reference involved. But I was seriously expecting some techniques more orthodox than that. Make-use-of-the-friends-around-your-target fits right in MUO haha.

    I personally wouldn't go that far to peak into someone's life. And I don't think there will be another proper way to do it.

    But good effort Ryan, maybe just not on this site

    • Ryan Dube
      June 26, 2009 at 2:12 pm

      Thanks for your comment - but as you've probably noticed (and as you mentioned yourself), orthodox methods don't work. There's no other "proper" way to do it other than unorthodox methods. Facebook privacy settings are pretty tight, and every hole gets patched up quickly. If someone is absolutely desperate, done right the social engineering approach described here will work. It's great that you wouldn't do it - kudos to you.

      • Jaden
        November 18, 2009 at 12:06 am

        since you know how to do this i want to hack back into my account but i set my privacy settings so only i could see but i can't go on it and find the email

  63. badar
    June 25, 2009 at 1:21 am

    hi ryan, is there any way to see facebook last activity of my non-friends. i hope u will help me out.
    btw that was a nice article i've ever found on net, and ...

    • Ryan Dube
      June 26, 2009 at 2:08 pm

      Hey Badar - thanks for your comment. The technique to see last activity would be the same as to see profile pictures of a non-friend. As a few readers have mentioned - it really is virtually impossible technically, so social engineering is the only way if you're desperate enough. As you can also see from the comment, the approach is controversial. Good luck!

  64. Blah Blah
    June 24, 2009 at 9:53 pm



    Everyone else sucks... lol!!!

  65. KEN
    June 21, 2009 at 1:43 am

    The people who complaints about this article are egocentric, and they only see one point of view. For example, weapon can use to kill people, but it also can save your life. It's up to you, what you're going to use it for. People can use this article to do whatever they want, and it can be positive or negative. Before you compliant, think about it again. How the hell you get into this article. Did you just google for it? or Did you click on something else that similar to this article? It's impossible to pop up in your PC.

    I like Psychology and I learn some stuff from you Ryan. Thank you!!!

  66. james bond
    June 18, 2009 at 7:19 am

    Your article is so flawed. If you pretend to be the 'friend' of your target and try to add the target by saying u lost your password, of course the target will simply check her actual friend's real profile for any recent activity or simply call up her actual friend to verify. The target wld not be that stupid to comply to your request by impulse. In the event that anyone loses his/her password, he/she wld just click on the 'forget password' link to retrieve password via email; most ppl who lose their password wld not create an entire new account.

  67. The Damaja
    June 9, 2009 at 8:16 pm

    There is a sense of paranoia and hypocrisy that comes with this topic. Privatized profiles were originally designed to deter pedophiles from accessing minors. Now, it's gotten out of control. If an adult has a privatized profile, it defeats the purpose of social networking, where people get to know each other in a way they otherwise might be unable to.

    The only time it would be sensible to do that might be when searching for employment, because HR Managers are using social networking sites as part of the background checks. You see, even a "harmless" picture (adult beverage in hand, girl in bathing suit, lesbian kissing her partner, etc.) can be viewed by a potential employer as a red flag, if they personally don't agree with the behavior depicted in said photo.

    Other than that, hiding yourself it comes off as quite contradictory. It's anti-social behavior and hypocrisy at best. A person can look at others' profiles to learn something about them and react accordingly, but that same person closes themselves off from others. It comes down to a lot of people not wanting to take responsibility for their actions and their postings. We've all wanted to know what someone was like and tap into their personality as a way to be informed. People like to throw around words like "creepy" and "stalkerish" to dismiss the views and actions of others, even if those views and actions are something the accuser does or has done in some point. There's no criminal intent in looking at an online profile, Googling someone, and so on just to obtain information about someone. It's what you intend to do afterward that the term "stalkerish" might apply. If you're gonna call courtship (a man e-mailing a woman or looking at his crush's profile to see if she's single or compatible), then you'd have to look at yourselves in the mirror, because we've all been curious to know more about someone who tickles our fancy or get in touch with one who got away to see if time heals wounds. Also, if you're gonna the viewing of profiles only as "stalking", then you'd have to accuse cops of that, the FBI, private investigators, Human Resources Homeland Security, and so on who survey, watch over, and search for people in person, through search engines, and online profiles. In fact, I've seen news stories about criminals posting info on Facebook and MySpace and getting busted because of it.

    The bottom line is that, when accusing someone of that, it conveys the person has intent to harm in a criminal manner. There are people who are genuinely being terrorized by someone and we can't have knuckleheads who don't handle their personal business taking away from those who are in imminent danger of being beaten, raped, and/or killed. Looking at a webpage is benign and unless the person is posting info that can be used to survey and or contact the person with dangerous intentions (example: the mother who created the profile which led to a teen's suicide), then let's not take away from the people who need help from crazed fans and those out to commit actual criminal acts.

    Most of these "stalking" situations are social situations where the parties involved are not communicating nor acting properly. If one or both parties did something differently instead of being irresponsible and running away from their personal issues, then the conflict would either be resolved or there would be no conflict in the first place. Not handling your business like an adult and getting a bunch of not-so-informed third parties (regardless of it's a friend or a D.A.) just makes a seemingly bad situation a million times worse. Also, authorities have to deal with these petty personal squabbles while those who really require the help and protection are either not getting it or their claims are not being taken seriously because of the crying wolf others do.

    We live in a curious society, period. Why else do we have this stuff like Twitter, Facebook, MySpace, and so on? There's nothing wrong with it, as long as your intentions aren't malicious or criminal in nature. The National Enquirer, Inside Edition, TMZ, and other trash media are controversial in terms of the photos they take and the accuracy of the information they report (which sometimes lead to libel and slander lawsuits). We as a culture crave information about something or someone and that's better than being assumptive and not thinking and acting for ourselves. As long as you aren't expressing interest in harming anyone, quench your thirst for knowledge. Some people are just more PC and hypocritical than others. They want to look at profiles and see what an ex or anyone else for that matter is up to yet when they're the searched or contacted one they're defensive.

    Social networking sites are meant to be forums to socialize. To dismiss others methods of socializing is just exposing one's behavior to be probably no different at one point or another. If you have to privatize it, then you probably shouldn't have one or at least strip it down and learn to express yourself better. You just may very well get shot down for that $100k salary position, and no, your potential boss didn't "stalk" you, as they have the right to know what type of person they might be hiring and they don't have bad intentions with their background checks. Hell, I've heard of women doing credit checks on guys before first dates, so consider yourselves lucky.

    • Ryan Dube
      June 9, 2009 at 9:26 pm

      The Damaja - wow, very well written and well said. You're right, there is certainly a happy medium between privacy and social networking. Some people may take it to extremes - and you bring up a lot of good points about what people intend to use social networks for, just for socializing with their own "cliques" or for meeting new people? What level of privacy is excessive? Great points to consider...

  68. Stadler
    June 9, 2009 at 1:54 pm

    I love how so many people have been complaining about this being shown on this website - yet why one earth would they be reading the article unless they wanted to find an underhand way of reading someone's facebook profile? :) Hypocrisy methinks!

  69. Lee
    June 5, 2009 at 6:51 am

    i was looked about some facebook stuff and i faid really GOOD website Guides on there a lot of tricks just 4 facebook

  70. caballeroluna
    May 30, 2009 at 8:44 am

    i just want to know if the girl i love is still with her boyfriend or not.

    is that so difficult??

    • Ryan Dube
      May 30, 2009 at 9:26 am

      caballeroluna - in that case you may not to trick her...because in the end when you end up dating her, that's likely a little fact that may not make her very happy... lol.

      Maybe ask some of her friends if she's still dating him? And if she's, just go for it. You'll be glad you did (hopefully). :)

  71. Steve
    May 29, 2009 at 7:51 am

    This article identifies a security issue. Everyone complaining seems to think that this article was written so that stalkers could get into private Facebook accounts. Wrong. Point the finger at yourself - this article was written so that you know how stalkers scam in order to get access to your Facebook account.

    Do you honestly think that stalkers don't already know this information?

    This information is for you to protect yourself from stalkers.

  72. Michelle
    May 26, 2009 at 6:40 pm

    I think this is a great article and great idea. Yeah it might be snooping or just to satisfy a little curiousity. If someone just wants to peak to see what is going on in someone else's life and its more harm then good to send them a friend request and they are not being mean or hateful, where is the harm. If you don't have things you want people to know then you shouldn't join any internet sites where there is a possibility for someone to gain access to your information. FB is a networking website to connect with people. I think it is silly to have private profiles.

    Great Post! Glad I found the site!

  73. sam
    May 19, 2009 at 9:44 am

    I think this is a wonderful article. I won't be trying it out but if anyone does try to view my account without permission, I can know see some of the signs: a friend adding me twice. All I have to do is confirm that my friend (first account) has actually lost his or her password.
    Also, I had no idea that by responding to a message, the other person can view my account... And for sure didn't know there were so many hacks out there to access Facebook accounts. Amazing!
    Thank you for a great article, it was quite eye opening :)

  74. Ivor the Insufferable
    May 18, 2009 at 3:20 pm

    Also, anyone who is in favor of what the author is advocating, should ask themselves if they'd want to be on the receiving end of such a hustle. That is, how would you feel on finding out that someone had been doing this to you.

    • Philly beef jerky
      May 18, 2009 at 5:26 pm

      well, it would obviously not be a great experience.....But,
      much of what this article talks about is not exactly rocket science....

      Most people know about this..i for one knew about the first one, the second..well, even if i did think about it, i cant be bothered with the process.....and am sure thats what most people who have read this article think as well.

      Trust me, this article is not going to be a revelation to people out there who want to get into other peoples profiles.. this method to be honest is REALLY "premitive".

      A lot worse can be done by those "harmless" facebook apps than these. .. .

      I am waiting for someone to post a success story....dont worry, i'll wait.

      • Ivor the Insufferable
        May 18, 2009 at 10:34 pm

        Yes. I was thinking about this. I swear I was. What better way to get into someone's profile than via a Facebook app. In order for us to use one, we have to give them the front door key. But I don't know what the restrictions are, the difficulties. I could research it but I don't know if I care that much. Interesting subject though.

  75. Ivor the Insufferable
    May 18, 2009 at 3:17 pm

    On the face of it, I didn't like the article. It had an amoral tone. I still think it's important to read things like this, to comment on them, and to not unsubscribe from a feed or blog just because an article rubbed you the wrong way, or because a certain writer did the same.

    This is not so much a how-to, imo. It's a heads-up or a reminder for everyone, that the traditional hustle has not gone away, it's only moved online.

  76. Jonny
    May 18, 2009 at 11:23 am

    lucky I don't use face book and I never will use but anyone can write what they want +++

  77. Lynn
    May 17, 2009 at 8:34 pm

    There's no originality or insight here. This is one of those articles thought up after the fifth beer. It's simply juvenile. Now, had there been a real hack, that would have been worthwhile.

    • Ryan Dube
      June 9, 2009 at 9:22 pm

      Thanks Lynn - actually I think it was probably the 3rd beer, but point taken. ;)

  78. Rico
    May 17, 2009 at 8:14 pm

    Does this still work? AFAIK, even a Facebook user's friends is not viewable to strangers.

  79. Topsy-Techie
    May 17, 2009 at 8:08 pm

    Article just made me giggle. The thought that someone would go to ALL that time and trouble to deceive someone into opening up their Facebook profile, instead of spending half of that energy going out into the real world and actually making a real friend. Funny stuff!!!!

    • Moz
      May 27, 2009 at 5:54 pm

      Topsy you missed the whole point completely!

      It's not just some random dude you will add, it's someone important as he mentioned.

  80. heyman
    May 17, 2009 at 6:06 pm

    I think the second part is not ethical. At least how it is presented. I think that if you had presented it as "hey this is a flaw in facebook...this what a hacker might do". Having said that, I believe it is good to see how hackers think and how social engineering is done, to watch out for it. Thanks.

  81. Erin
    May 16, 2009 at 6:13 pm

    I also appreciate this. People are bothered because it probably is a very effective technique, which reinforces the value of publicizing it, which is the only way to stop it from working. I tend to be highly suspicious of facebook ads and generally ignore ones from people I don't have another method of contacting directly, but a lot of my friends aren't.

    Right now, communication is a commodity, which makes privacy less valuable. In a few years when all of these networks are commonplace instead of novel people will start to realize the value of protecting their information. The number of people who put common security question answers in their Facebook and MySpace profiles (or even on slightly more secure sites like friends-locked livejournals or blogs) astound me. We need more articles like this, propagated more thoroughly, if people are to understand how publicizing their information sets them up for deception and abuse by even mildly savvy online predators.

  82. Wrong approach
    May 16, 2009 at 7:32 am

    I don't think anyone's disagreeing that it's a loophole, and an important issue. The mistake was to approach the issue with an article like this - gleefully focusing on how you can con people, rather than on how you can protect yourself.

    There's little skill in writing an offensive article that gets people talking. Sadly, for me, the only thing this will make me check more often is whether or not I should bother reading MUO articles.

    This has moved MUO from "reliable" (a rare attribute), to "unreliable".

  83. Nikon
    May 16, 2009 at 5:11 am

    I like this article- I dont think anyone will be stupid enough to actually do it, but most of us who reads it now will be aware of this trick for the in terms of cost benefit it pays of for the community.

  84. PeterD
    May 16, 2009 at 4:01 am

    Aibek the gloating tone of the article contradicts your reason for it being published, and the arrogant responses of the author also back this up.

  85. Emre Ruhi
    May 16, 2009 at 8:13 am

    To those who found this either "uncool" or intriguing but a little too much work, I just wrote a similarly-themed article on my blog that shows you how to view the full-size picture of anyone's Facebook profile picture. It's pretty easy to do and allows you to be only mildly sketchy rather than fully :D

  86. Aibek
    May 16, 2009 at 2:41 am

    Hey folks

    The prupose of the post was to show how this can be done on Facebook. The mere fact that this can be done REQUIRES us to publish it so that Facebook finds a way to fix this. Simply not talking about this won't help. As for the story title we deliberately make it provocaive so that it reaches people on Facebook.


    • flashparry
      May 16, 2009 at 3:23 am

      Alerting people to the fact they might get scammed is one thing, but this article wasn't written from that perspective. The author comes across as arrogant.

      Why would anyone want to spy into someone else’s private Facebook profile? If you think about it, there are lots of valid reasons.

      * You have a crush on a really hot girl. You’re pretty much a stalker, and you’re okay with that.

      I'm sorry, but if you honestly think stalking a woman is a valid reason for accessing a her facebook profile then you're seriously misguided.

      Sorry MUO, it's been fun, but that's it for me... unsubscribe? yes

    • Tom
      September 22, 2009 at 9:54 am

      The logic here is completely flawed and disingenuous.

      You could go out to a couple stores and find all the ingredients you'd need to build a bomb. If someone was concerned about people trying this, the WRONG thing to do is post the recipe for how to build a bomb in order to get the attention of the people who could prevent it from happening, i.e. the police.

      In this case, the author is ostensibly trying to help improve FB's security by posting the bomb making recipe.

      You'd be better off going to FB directly instead of hiding behind flawed logic.

  87. PeterD
    May 16, 2009 at 1:31 am

    hmm, with all the crap of the MUO hijack you would think that Make Use Of would be totally negative towards scamming. Own goal make use of, another reader you dont value dropping you from his reader.

  88. Philly cheese steak
    May 15, 2009 at 10:23 pm

    Why all the negativity? Indeed this was TERRIBLE article in all regards, but the mere fact that it has got so many people worked up shows what a BRILLIANT article it is.

    Its like the half full half empty question. You csn look at this article as a wrong way of gaining access to private data, or you can see it as a way to protect yourself from falling for such "scams".

    These methods hold within them the seeds for these own 'destruction'. We can sit here and talk about who is cancelling their subscribtion, but lets face it, now thanks to this article, you would definately think twice when you get a friend request on facebook.

    GREAT ARTICLE,..... Poor Excution.

    • Ryan Dube
      May 16, 2009 at 10:18 am

      Thanks Philly - and I appreciate your insight on this. The one thing I personally do whenever coming up with any article idea is determining what it is that people want to read about based on what people are looking for on the net. Thousands of people scour the net every day looking for how to view private Facebook profiles, and few websites exist to provide them the answer they seek.

      Is it wrong to answer a question people are asking because knowing how *could* be considered fraud or illegal? all honesty I don't really care, because I believe in the freedom to write about controversial topics - and I also see the discussion regarding those topics (from both the positive and negative commentators in here) as extremely insightful, informative, and valuable regarding privacy of social networks. If the discussion doesn't take place and we hide a hole because the topic is "icky" - how does that do any good? If the article has made you stop and think today about the morality or ethics of this, as well as the potential positive or negative uses of such forms of social engineering, then I consider this discussion a tremendous success.

      Thanks to everyone for your great comments - on both sides of the debate. :)

  89. Subt
    May 15, 2009 at 8:11 pm

    Of all the things to get upset and/or become moral about on the internet and people go after this (great) article.

    My guess is that those people are upset because you exposed some of the techniques they use on facebook ;)

    Don't people realize that there's nothing illegal about getting someone to add you as a friend on a PUBLIC social network. Even if you may be deceiving the person to get added they still have to willingly accept the friend add. If you create a facebook profile only to make it private then why did you even take the time to create it in the first place? To me that's kinda creepy.

    Stop being so uptight people. What a bunch of whiny libs.

    • youthworker
      May 17, 2009 at 5:13 am

      Two things Subt;
      1. IANAL, but lying to someone, claiming to be a third party in order to gain something is most probably illegal in some parts of the world.
      2. Being legal isn't anywhere close to the same thing as being moral- "uncool," "creepy," "sleezy" or "and error of judgment." Consider the story of Megan Meier and you'll get my point.

  90. John
    May 15, 2009 at 6:37 pm

    The "right" article to publish would've been "protect yourself from Facebook scammers." This? Well, do you know that you can get anybody's phone number without even knowing their name? You can ask them, and sometimes they'll accidentally give it to you.

    Obviously, be careful in doing things like this. It wouldn't surprise me if some intrepid District Attorney was able to spin something along these lines into a wiretapping, fraud, or identity theft case.

  91. Stacy
    May 15, 2009 at 5:32 pm

    I'm not sure if this works anymore, but the default setting used to be that people in your same network can view your profile. Most were unaware that this was the default and very few people actually change their settings. So, if the person was in the Los Angeles network, as an example, all you had to do was join the LA network and you could see tons of profiles lol :) I'm sure they would have patched that up by now, but it worked a charm at one point!

  92. jollyrogue
    May 15, 2009 at 1:54 pm

    hmm.. Now, i'll have to watch out for things like this.. don't like this one bit.

    My facebook is private for a reason...

    • Debbie
      December 4, 2016 at 12:18 pm

      My husband said he wanted his Facebook private for his workmates so he's never added he's even taken the add frieds button off his profile..Result !! 3 year affair with the local work bike done over Facebook and Facebook messenger ! But partly true as she was / is a work mate ! Always someone smarter !

  93. -.-
    May 15, 2009 at 1:30 pm

    Wow, How completely unoriginal, Social engineering, big woop. It takes no computer skills whatsoevver to do it. Makeuseof what were you thinking when you let this post go through? Did he hold a gun to your head or did he make another fakebook profile instead of going outside again?

    • Ryan Dube
      May 15, 2009 at 8:50 pm

      Yeah, totally...Aibek fell for my fake Facebook trap, and he was so impressed that he agreed to publish the article. ;)

  94. Really Uncool Post
    May 15, 2009 at 12:34 pm

    This is really an uncool post. If you think you are being informative in a good way, you are absolutely not.

    I would have to check twice before I accept a friend on FaceBook from now on. This technique is almost like commiting fraud.

    With the kind of large reader base MUO has and most with FaceBook accounts, this is a wrong palce for this information to be published.

    Aibek, I hope you would screen the articles more carefully from now on. Seriously, this kind of information doesnt deserve a place on MUO which is looked at as a blog with good and informative tech realted stuff.

    • Ryan Dube
      May 15, 2009 at 8:48 pm

      Think about what you just wrote. This article will make you check twice before you accept a friend on Facebook from now on.

      Does it click yet, my friend?

  95. SnickersBoston
    May 15, 2009 at 9:26 am

    Good article Ryan. I didnt know sending and email opened my account to who it was sent to. The second method was also thought provoking. Another thing to look out for. I cant believe so many people are bad mouthing this article. No doubt liberals. Trying to kill MUO and this country. I cant stand fragile people who think their entitled to this or that. FB isnt national security.

    • ChazzMann
      September 23, 2009 at 1:03 am

      Good article Ryan. I didn't know sending an email opened my account. The second method was also thought provoking. I can't believe so many people are bad mouthing this article. No doubt conservatives. I can't stand fragile people who think they're entitled. FB isn't national security.

      Seriously, telling me in some detail what scofflaws do to hustle me is a public service that should be encouraged. I may own a copy of the Anarchist's Cookbook for its entertainment value, but I don't build bombs.

  96. kazana
    May 15, 2009 at 6:53 am

    I don't get all the hate. It's basically an article about social engineering applied to facebook. And an entertaining one at that.

    I bet that if the platform wasn't facebook, but something less widely used or even just theoretical, the holier-than-thou crowd would've kept silent and/or maybe even applaud.

    Thanks for the article Ryan.

    • Ryan Dube
      May 15, 2009 at 8:46 pm

      Hey Kazana - thanks for getting it! Don't let those folks bother they claim to be deleting MUO from their reader, watch as MUO's subscriptions keep going up...and up...and up.... :)

      It's about thinking outside the box - and yes, the examples provided in the article to justify the social engineering approach are valid. Think about it - if I know some overage guy has a Facebook profile and he's dating my underage daughter who claims she's "in love" with're flippin' right I'll do what I gotta do to see what he's up to...

      Great responses though - I love the feedback!

      • Tom
        October 11, 2009 at 3:03 pm

        Hey Ryan,

        You really seem proud about it.
        I'll prove you wrong. How?
        I will be you on Facebook!
        See if that is outside of the box enough for you?

        No thanks for my great response.


        • Peircosip Garvardo Leguan
          December 17, 2009 at 9:35 pm

          wonder of ryan's even his real name

  97. Spike Spiegel
    May 15, 2009 at 6:45 am

    @MakeUseOf-Team: I don't understand why you support letting someone post this kind of article.

    This is way too weird. The author is apparently not aware of psychological damage which stalkers or persons alike can cause on other people.

    Sorry guys, i'm deleting my feed subscription.

  98. Weak article shouldn't have been published
    May 15, 2009 at 5:17 am

    This was a poor article, and an clear error of judgement by Makeuseof. People don't need to read the pathetic little scribbles of some weird guy who spends his time figuring out to dupe girls into being friends with him - not even in real life, but in internet-life.

    Sure, if there was a real security angle the article might be useful, but there clearly isn't: "hot girls", "axe-murderers" and "cheating" don't really justify the need.

    Every article on Makeuseof impacts on the site's brand strength and its profile, and publishing junk like this reflects badly on what is usually an excellent, useful and informative site. I understand why others have commented that they're going to stop reading MUO...

  99. tipat
    May 15, 2009 at 1:14 am

    lol lol that is so funny. I don't even give a toss if I can't see other's profile, if they live in my country and i know them then i add them, other than that, all my facebook friends are people i know, I just don't add anyone alive

  100. Feeling Icky
    May 14, 2009 at 9:47 pm

    Yeah, what an all-time-low for Make Use Of. This article is down-right creepy....sleazy at a sham-wow level. Time to remove Make Use of from my reader, sorry.

    • scadle
      January 8, 2010 at 12:10 pm

      the wrong kind of people can access this information - like those who are being stalked....then again its simple advice that anyone could have figured out - if they are a creepy stalker that is.

  101. Feeling Icky
    May 14, 2009 at 9:41 pm

    Yeah, this is just wrong, what an all time low for Make Use Of. Very sleazy sham-wowish article. Time to delete MUO from my reader, sorry.

    • bagel
      September 22, 2009 at 12:59 pm

      Oh come on! stop being such damn hypocrites.
      The author didn't mean anything wrong.
      I found the article kinda hilarious actually.

  102. unrenowned
    May 14, 2009 at 8:47 pm

    Actually, this is a GREAT article that points out a serious flaw, not in Facebook itself, but human nature.

    By doing this, the author has shown us that one of the things we can do to protect our "private" accounts is to query the person in question.

    For example, let's say the name of the Friend we have added goes by the name of "Sid" and some other person is trying to convince us that he is Sid.

    Step one is to send a message off to the original "Sid" account and see if there is a response (give 24-72 hours leeway).

    If there is no response from the account, we can also try sending an email to an account we know belongs to the real Sid (or if you don't know the email account, you can ask one of your other friends who may have this information to do so).

    Before I get flamed, yes, you can also be in a situation where "Sid" is on vacation, hasn't told anyone, hasn't logged into his account in, say two weeks, and you add the false Sid.

    One thing you could do, is remember NOT to publish information you do NOT want other people to find out about you on the internet.

    There is zero "absolute" security on the net.

    • another reader
      December 7, 2009 at 2:17 am

      The last statements u said are the most sensible.... people, simply don't post everythin about yourself on the net, and regret later on!
      And Ryan is only educating us of the possibilities! (Tho mtd 2 was a lil obvious, if u had thought abt it)

  103. James
    May 14, 2009 at 7:53 pm

    Wooow, good job!

    Thanks for your information . I did it and it works :)

    • Ryan Dube
      May 15, 2009 at 12:15 am

      Thanks James...glad to hear it. Trust me, it's the only way that works. ;)

      As I wrote in the article, every trick in the book has it's negative uses and its positive uses. There are plenty of good reasons why someone (like a parent or spouse) may need to get a look at a private profile. When I write these articles, I'm not going to preach morals to people...there are plenty of people out there who are more than willing to do that. :)

      You only live once, have fun folks! :)

  104. Aaron
    May 14, 2009 at 7:45 pm

    Yeah, I don't think this was a good idea for a post. I think most people could have already figured it out (I purposely haven't responded to people JUST BECAUSE I knew it'd give them access to my profile), and those who couldn't, probably shouldn't be given such easy-to-follow directions.

  105. Charax
    May 14, 2009 at 7:29 pm

    Wow. First Jimmy posts an article containing the worst Torrent advice ever, then Ryan posts about "Becoming a hero" by following the inefficient and fearmongering Amber Alert system, and now we have Ryan (again!) effectively telling us "How to scam your way into someone else's Facebook profile"

    What the hell is going on? Is 2009 the year MakeUseOf becomes Bad Advice Central?

    • Sneeky.Shit
      December 7, 2009 at 1:09 am

      hey ryan !
      damn uv got good ideas !
      good stuff man . keep it up

    • Starfire
      February 1, 2010 at 3:32 am

      Damn you rock man. You know i was searching for how i can hack someone's Facebook and then i came across your article and I'm quite impressed with how you made use of psychology with technology over

      Keep it up buddy!!!

  106. Gaurav
    May 14, 2009 at 7:17 pm

    Bravo Ryan!! I think it's an excellent article, it's clearly not written with any harmful intentions. I think it's a good thing to educate readers about social engineering and the psychology behind internet security. Looking forward to more quality articles.

  107. alexandrojv
    May 14, 2009 at 6:18 pm

    yeah seriously, this just seems like such a wrong thing to do, and for MakeUseOf to show how to scam people into believing that someone is not who they really are is so wrong, shame on you Ryan Dube for posting this, and specially shame on MakeUseOf for letting him post this!

    • Peircosip Garvardo Leguan
      December 17, 2009 at 9:29 pm

      Heh. It's better to show people whats really out there then wallow in naivity

  108. Anon
    May 14, 2009 at 11:15 am

    Your 2nd approach is clearly spamming the email provider and facebook system. I wonder how such an article can get published on MakeUseOf.

    • Ryan Dube
      May 15, 2009 at 12:10 am

      Hey Anon - thanks for your reply. For your benefit, I've looked up a few definitions of spam.

      # spam - a canned meat made largely from pork
      # spam - send unwanted or junk e-mail
      # spam - unwanted e-mail (usually of a commercial nature sent out in bulk)

      I think an important stipulation is that you're not sending these emails in bulk. You're selectively choosing specific people that you're individually sending targeted emails to.

      Trust me - for every 2 people who are writing "holier-than-thou" comments...there are 10 people going..."cool! I gotta try that!" ;)

      • Jen
        August 3, 2009 at 2:34 am

        i really need you help to acess a page for me thats private

        • Bobby
          August 14, 2009 at 10:22 pm

          i like the way you think man, the 2nd method is wicked sneaky and mischivious, just as i like'em lol :-)

      • Cynthia
        November 4, 2009 at 4:20 pm

        all i have to say is....”cool! I gotta try that!”

      • Tammi
        January 20, 2010 at 7:11 pm

        Cool I GOTTA TRY THAT !!! I like you !!!