So You Think Messenger is ‘Secure’?

January 30, 2019

I’ve reluctantly participated in group & personal conversations on Messenger in which private, quasi-confidential information was shared. I tried to convince my friends/colleagues that Messenger was probably not the best platform for certain discussions because I believed it wasn’t secure. After all, it’s owned by Facebook; a platform that has admitted it mines and shares data.

It isn’t rocket science!!
You’ve seen it for yourselves – you Google something or make an online purchase and instantaneously you’re bombarded with ‘related’ ads on FB and Google/webmail sidebars. Your information is being monitored, mined, & sold.

They insisted it was as secure as any similar app – which isn’t saying much! – and it’s so much more convenient than opening a separate app when Messenger & FB were already loaded and live on their phones.

Okay, I get it. I’m old  – the anti-millennial. My laptop is command central and where I feel most productive. I like my real, clackity, full-size keyboard and multiple monitors with screens that can be read without pinching or swiping. I don’t want to use my cellphone like a handheld computer for everything. I prefer to use it for calls & texts and to take & upload pictures.

Sure, I have all the apps on my phone – I’ve been through too many computer crashes, Internet/power outages, and freak acts of nature to trust any single device … but that’s a different rant.

Ultimately, I gave in. There are only so many windmills at which to tilt and I have bigger dragons to slay. Like convincing professionals and individuals to use for fee email and providers not the free versions because they don’t comply with the minimum standards set by the ABA regarding confidentiality and similar issues.

But I digress, this is meant to be about Messenger and the Facebook Police …

I was chatting with a colleague in Messenger – I never said I was perfect. I do my best to be aware and cautious. She was letting me vent about sheeple who query the FB community for answers but can’t be bothered to do any research for themselves.

We joked about how many times we’ve wanted to post, “Just Google it for yourself!” C’mon, it’s not that difficult. So I typed a reply …

“Did you know someone owns the URL and directed it to Google?”

I hit Send.

My friends, if Messenger is so secure how did the Facebook Police kill my message?

That’s right!!
FB-bots read our private, ‘secure’ conversation and decided goes against their Community Standards!

What standards?? I’ve typed the “F” word in my fair share of messages & posts and shared questionable FB posts/pages/groups & Interweb links with nary a word. I even reported a direct threat and the FB braintrust told me it didn’t violate their terms.

Why this time?
What other information has FB mined from ‘private’ conversations?
Where did that information go?

STOP right there!
DON’T you dare toggle to Facebook to post a useless, ridiculous, space-wasting declaration ‘forbidding Facebook to disclose, copy, distribute, or take any other action against you based on your profile and/or its contents.’ I will stop following or unfriend you.

Read here if you still don’t understand why:

THINK! You have a brain, use it!
You control what, how, and where you share.

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Redact the Right Way

January 20, 2019
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@Shutdown Got You Down?

January 18, 2019
shutdown assistance
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I Speak Fluent Sarcasm

January 17, 2019


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It Must Be Monday

January 7, 2019
this means you

My loyal followers (yep, all 5 of you) know how much I love <insert oodles of sarcasm> phone calls from non-attorneys that are just too simple or oblivious to EVERY SINGLE DISCLAIMER that comes up when you Google, go to my website, visit the StarrParalegals Facebook page, or read this blog.

In a moment of supreme snark, I changed the outgoing message to:

Welcome to StarrParalegals, your virtual paralegal resource. Before you leave a message, ask yourself , “Am I an attorney or legal professional?” If the answer is no, please hang up now. StarrParalegals cannot help you. We can’t answer your quick question, help fill out your forms or provide legal advice. If your answer is yes, please leave your name, number, and a brief message. Thank you.

I then resolved to ignore unknown trigger numbers and send them to voicemail.

Today, I started receiving calls from a local number. Local calls are at the top of my do-not-answer list because, 99.99999% are individuals that refuse to accept that every dang disclaimer applies directly to them.

The call comes in; I send it to voicemail … no message.

10 minutes later, a call from the same number that I also send directly to voicemail. Again, no message.

This happens THREE MORE TIMES!!

Finally – against my better judgment – I answer the call.

  • Me: blah, blah, blah, StarrParalegals, how may I help you?
  • Caller: Yeah, I’m looking for a freelance (note, not virtual) paralegal.
  • Me: Are you an attorney?
  • Caller: Well, no. I’m not.

The voice in my head is screaming, ‘Then why in the bleepedly-bleep-bleep-bleep don’t you think the outgoing message applies to you??!!” Yeah, fine. She probably hung up each time it went to voicemail … that’s not the point!

  • Me: I’m sorry but we won’t be able to assist you. The State of Georgia limits the services we may provide to …
  • Caller: <click>

And it’s back to work I go …

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