The Facebook-McAfee Lockout

Yesterday, while relaxing at home, B decided to check her Facebook account on her iPad.  She immediately told me that she thought she might have been hacked.  To make sure, she went on her laptop.  Sure enough, I came and saw that she had been locked out.  Not just locked out, though, but locked out due to a virus.


Wait… a virus?  Mind you, this was without Facebook having any ability to scan our computer.  Also, this was after being locked out on the iPad.


Nice lesson in malware prevention.  Of course, we’re both well versed in the "don’t run programs from sources you don’t trust" rule.  We also have anti-virus software running all the time on our computer just in case anything slips by our "common sense filter".  (Security is all about layers.)  Still, we can just click Continue to re-enable the account and scan using our anti-virus of choice, right?  After all, the next screen does say "you can also remove them yourself."


I’d click the "We’ll remove them ourselves, please unlock the account" button, but all I see is a "Download and Run McAfee" button.

At this point, I began to wonder just how valid this notice was.  I didn’t doubt it was from Facebook, but I began to question whether this was just an isolated incident.  So I did what anyone would do: I searched Twitter and Google.  On Twitter, I found numerous people who were locked out due to "virus infections."

Two stood out to me in particular.  First was @grilledcheez.  She responded to one of my tweets with the following:


If this was an actual virus infection, why weren’t both of the accounts locked out?

And then there was @jason_michael who was locked out of his Facebook page due to a "virus infection"… on a Mac:


This was looking very fishy.  Especially when a Google search turned up a deal between Facebook and McAfee.  Facebook will helpfully "detect" viruses on your computer and offer to clean it for you using McAfee’s software.

Of course, if you don’t want to install McAfee on your system, that’s fine.  You can use your own anti-virus software, as this Facebook post illustrates.  However, there’s a catch.  You first need to agree to the McAfee Scan and Repair Terms of Service.  (That’s why I don’t have a screenshot.  I didn’t want to agree to their TOS.)

I do have one more screenshot, though, from @jason_michael.  Apparently, he got back in without running McAfee.  You see, his third screen didn’t display a "Run McAfee now" message, but this instead:


Yes, he was able to simply click to certify that he ran anti-virus software and then was able to get back into his account.  No forced downloads and no required TOS agreements.  So why did he get the optional treatment and we didn’t?  My only guess would be that Mac-Windows difference.  After all, you can’t require a Mac user to install Windows software.  (It’s trivial to detect what operating system you are running.  In fact, I use Google Analytics which does – among other things – just that.  Hello to the 22.25% of TechyDad visitors who used Macs or iOS devices in the past month!)

In the end, after writing almost this entire post, I got back into B’s Facebook account again by using Internet Explorer instead of Chrome.  However, I’m not sure if it was a matter of IE being allowed in where Chrome wasn’t or if the lockout was only for a certain amount of time.  Still, the big red warning bar and only presented choice of running McAfee seems very scammy to me.

It looks like I’ve got yet another reason not to use Facebook.  And, if Facebook insists on pushing McAfee on its users due to "virus infections" that it "finds", they will give many users a good reason to move away from them and to a different social media platform.

Aloha Friday: Wishing You Were Here

Last Sunday, the boys and I spent a day in the New York State Museum.  During the beginning of the trip, we excitedly looked at the moon rock on display.


I told the boys all I knew about the rock and its trip from the Moon to Earth.  Still, I couldn’t help but wonder what facts and information that Phil Plait, aka BadAstronomer, could provide.

Later on, we saw one of the museum’s long standing exhibits: A series of taxidermied wild animals representing local animals.


Again, I found myself wondering what someone on Twitter might say.  Only this time, it was TheBloggess.  If you follow her (and you should), you know that she has an interesting collection of taxidermied animals.  She also tends to have hilarious conversations with her husband, Victor.


Seeing this moose, I could only imagine The Bloggess telling Victor how they *needed* to get a moose like that and Victor’s exasperated sighs as he completely missed the point of how a house moose would dramatically improve their lives.

Despite Phil and The Bloggess (and Victor) not being there, the boys and I had a wonderful time at the museum.  It did get me wondering, though, what it would be like to spend a day with some of the people I follow on Twitter.

My Aloha Friday question for today is: If you could spend one day with someone you follow on Social Media, who would it be and what would you do?

P.S. If you haven’t already, try out my Twitter applications: FollowerHQ and Rout.

Thanks to Kailani at An Island Life for starting this fun for Friday. Please be sure to head over to her blog to say hello and sign the linky there if you are participating.

Aloha Friday by Kailani at An Island Life

Aloha #171

Aloha Friday: Juggling Social Media

2122754745_26eb3de53c_oI’ve taken the plunge and signed up.  Yes, I’m now on Pinterest.  I’ve been using it for a bit and it’s nice.  I just don’t know how long I’ll be able to devote to it.

When you factor in a full time job, the duties of being a husband and father, freelance work, and my own blog, it’s a wonder that I have time to tweet occasionally.  But Twitter, Instagram, and now Pinterest?  I’m not sure I’ll be able to keep up.  I’ve already all-but-abandoned Google+.  It was really interesting and I still like it, but I just didn’t have the time.  I can only juggle so many before one or more begin to drop.

My Aloha Friday question for today is: How many social networks are you part of? How much time do you spend on social media?

P.S. If you haven’t already, try out my Twitter applications: FollowerHQ and Rout.

Disclaimer: The juggling photo is by Pedro Moura Pinheiro and was published on Flickr under a Creative Commons license. 

Thanks to Kailani at An Island Life for starting this fun for Friday. Please be sure to head over to her blog to say hello and sign the linky there if you are participating.

Aloha Friday by Kailani at An Island Life

Aloha #153

Would You Pay For Social Media?

Would You Pay For Social Media?Twitter just tossed a grenade into the room.  One that’s causing developers everywhere to scatter for cover.  This grenade took the form of a blog post detailing the upcoming changes to the Twitter API.  There are many controversial changes, but perhaps the most shocking is that all Twitter apps will now be capped at 100,000 users.  If a Twitter app currently has more than 100,000 users, they will be allowed to double their user base, but no more.  This (and the other changes) means that popular Twitter clients will likely get the axe.  Soon the only way to browse through Twitter may be on

There are many different rumors about why Twitter is doing this.  Many think that Twitter will soon be showing ads in an attempt to turn a profit.  If you are using a Twitter client, however, you wouldn’t see these ads and so Twitter needs to find a way to pull everyone back to

This possibility got me thinking.  What if Twitter charged for access?  What if you were able to read tweets for free, but actually tweeting out required a paid subscription?  Would people pay?  Or would they switch to another service?

Twitter will likely hit 250 million users by the end of the year.  If the subscription fee was $10 a year and only 10% of those people paid, Twitter would earn $250 million.

I’ve got to be honest.  I’m not sure whether I’d pay or not.  On one hand, I enjoy taking part in social media and I understand that Twitter needs to make money to pay for servers, employees, etc.  On the other hand, there are free alternatives (Facebook, Google+, etc).  I guess if the fee were small enough, I would pay, but if they set the price tag too high, I’d bid a tearful farewell to Twitter.

How about you?  Would you pay for the ability to Tweet?  If so, how much do you think you’d pay?

NOTE: The money image above is by Kamil Koszuta from

Aloha Friday: Why I Wish I Was Going To #BlogHer12

In under two weeks’ time, BlogHer 2012 will begin.  I really wish I could go.  I went way back in 2010 and had a blast.  I met so many great people, connected with interesting companies, learned a lot of new things, and – let’s face it – left with some really cool swag.  Sadly, I can’t make it this year.  My schedule and finances simply do not allow it.  Of course, this year BlogHer is back in New York City which means it’s a tantalizing three hours away.

Of course, while the swag was cool, I don’t need more miscellaneous stuff.  And the sessions and company connections, while intriguing, aren’t a big enough draw for me.  What I really miss is the opportunity to see some online friends who I’ve never met in person.  In particular, I’d love to meet Anissa Mayhew and JC Little (aka LittleAnimation).

My Aloha Friday question for today is: If you went to a blogging conference and could meet any blogger or anyone active on social media, who would you meet?

P.S. If you haven’t already, try out my Twitter applications: FollowerHQ and Rout.

Thanks to Kailani at An Island Life for starting this fun for Friday. Please be sure to head over to her blog to say hello and sign the linky there if you are participating.

Aloha Friday by Kailani at An Island Life

Aloha #148

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