What the Tech? Ignoring or Deleting Facebook Friend Requests Has Risks
You think you’re taking precautions against scammers seeing your posts and photos on Facebook, but you may still be followed by scammers or other people you don’t want to see your posts.
When you receive a Facebook friend request from someone and you either ignore it or delete it, the person sending it automatically becomes a ‘follower’, meaning, they see when you post something new, a photograph, comments and updated bio provided those updates are posted publicly. It’s a sneaky trick. And it works.
Go to your Facebook profile and look for the word “followers”. You’ll find it on the left side of your bio. If you don’t see it there, go to your friends’ list and click on the “more” tab. You’ll see who’s following you and who you’re following.
I set up a fake Facebook profile, Lenny N Squiggy from Anchorage, Alaska. I then sent myself a friend request from that account but didn’t accept it.
When I checked my list of ‘followers’, there’s Lenny N Squiggy. If it had been a scammer, they’d have seen anything I posted publicly to Facebook.
To keep that from happening, you’ll need to click on the three dots on the follower’s profile where you’ll see the option to report the profile or block the follower from seeing your posts.
You may want to block others from following you, like that kid from 3rd grade you really don’t want seeing what you’re up to now, or maybe an ex. On a smartphone in the Facebook app, you’ll see the list of followers on your profile page in the bio section.
Facebook doesn’t do a good job preventing scammers from using this tactic. You’ll have to take some time to block followers one by one. Judging by what you find in those followers, it could be worth the effort.