I’ve always had a penchant for finding flaws within supposedly secure systems. Those sort of activities got me into a lot of trouble in high school, and certainly banned from the high school computer lab once or twice. Early last year I decided to join Facebook, and in doing so, I learned an intriguing fact about this fast-growing social network: Facebook profiles are usually private. Figuring out how to view private Facebook profiles became a brief hobby of mine for a few months last year, so I’m going to share what I learned over those few months with MakeUseOf readers.
I like Facebook – it’s a great social network that MakeUseOf has covered in detail, such as my last article on how to email mobile photos to Facebook, or Tim’s great article on how to “friend” someone on Facebook and hide it from your status updates. What I learned during my nightly hacking sessions is this – whatever sort of hack you uncover today, Facebook will have it patched tomorrow. Early on there were different methods how to view private Facebook profiles by typing a URL using just the right format and code, and inserting the person’s Facebook ID into the URL. However, every time one method worked, it only took Facebook a few weeks or less to patch up the hack.
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.
You suspect your daughter is dating an axe murderer and you want to check out his Facebook profile for evidence.
You discovered your significant other is cheating on you, and you want proof.
Regardless your reason, whether moral or not – many people find that they have a need to peek into the private world of someone’s Facebook profile. Well, I’m here to tell you that there’s no easy way to “hack” into someone’s profile. Even if there was – it wouldn’t work long enough to be useful. However, thare are ways to work your way into someone’s private profile, but it takes a little bit of patience, and a lot of unique social engineering techniques.