If you have not seen Take This Lollipop, chances are you have heard of it. This creepy video, detailing a serial killer scoping out your Facebook profile, has gone viral and everyone is talking about whether or not its claims are true.
Can a serial killer really use Facebook’s available developer tools to stalk you and find you in real life? Could what happens in Taking This Lollipop be your fate for using Facebook? Let us take a look at the facts of using Facebook, Take This Lollipop and what the buzz is all about when it comes to your privacy on social networks.
Take This Lollipop is so creepy on several levels because of the effort involved in making the interactive video. The video itself uses Facebook’s own “Connect with Facebook” feature. This allows developers who create apps for Facebook to use the information on your profile so long as you give them permission.
Digital marketer Jason Zada created the video. Zada has worked on campaigns for OfficeMax and other major companies over the years. Take This Lollipop employs several well-known horror clichés, such as creepy music, breaking the fourth wall and quick shots to make it even more terrifying. The realistic nature of this video is what makes it so horrifying to watch play out, even when you know it is not real.
How to stay safe when using social networks
When it comes to anything that has gone viral online, people will begin to make a big deal about it. Truth be told, if you use the Internet, you are at risk of being discovered by someone looking to find you. By being cautious, using common sense and not giving out your private information, you can keep yourself safe.
When you sign up to use Facebook, you decide what information you share on the social network. The more information you post on your profile, your feed and elsewhere on the site, you put yourself at risk of being found. Facebook can only go so far to protect your privacy if you choose to give away your information freely.
Could a serial killer find you using Facebook?
Possibly. Over the last few years, news has broken about burglars using Facebook to determine when people are out of their homes so that they can break in. This happens because people using the site put this information out there for anyone to find. If you are careful about what you say, who you say it to and keep your cards close to your chest, Facebook can be a safe social network to use.
Facebook is not the only social network a potential threat could find you on. Any website you use where you offer up personal information can be at risk. It is important to use the Internet wisely and safely to keep your information private.
Some best practices for keeping yourself safe online:
- Always use a strong password for websites and never use the same password across all sites.
- Never use your full name, always try to use a pseudonym for your username.
- Do not tag pictures with your identity or that of your family or simply do not post any pictures of yourself online.
- Do not use your full birthday, address, social security number or any other personally identifiable information in a profile.
- Never post about where you are, where you are going or use “check in” services; never post about vacations or extended time away from your home or office.
- Do not give away any personal information when chatting online person-to-person.
- Never allow third party applications access to the information you post on a social network.
- If you social network, create an e-mail address just for social networking instead of using your personal e-mail address.
- Do not use your phone number on any social network site, you can be searched for this way by people who have your number in real life.
By following these tips, you can keep your identity safe from potential threats on Facebook, Google+ or any other social network you use. You can also keep your family and friends safe by not involving them in your social networking online. Staying safe on the Internet is not hard, but many users take for granted the anonymity surfing the web used to offer.
Is Take This Lollipop something you should worry about?
Take This Lollipop could not have been timed better with the last Halloween. Those who have seen it were surprised by how terrifying the implications of the video were. A whole slew of video responses appeared on YouTube showing people’s reactions as they realize their own Facebook profile was being displayed in the video. If you have not seen Take This Lollipop, you need to see it!
Should you worry about this video? Most likely not, but if you have neglected to protect your privacy online, you may want to re-evaluate how you go about using the web. If you are worried about someone finding you, you have to change how you’re give out your information if you even put it out there at all. By protecting yourself and your loved ones, you can prevent something like Take This Lollipop from happening. While the video is the extremes out what can happen when you give out personal information, do not let it give you nightmares as it is intended to.