Christmas 2015 – 1

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An Update, Some Musings And Some Christmas Cards


Hi Everybody!

I did warn you in previous posts that I’m on a mission to catch up with putting photos of my creations from the last year that I’ve not blogged before up to this site, so yes, today I have a batch of Christmas cards from last Christmas to show you.

To be honest, I didn’t get photos of half the cards I made, just makeing and getting them written and into envelopes was energy sapping before Christmas.  To be even more honest, I didn’t even get cards made for everybody I wanted to make cards for.

I had an order early on from an aunt for three dozen Christmas cards and I made those in three batches of a dozen each.  So today’s makes are one of those batches.

To make it easy for me to make the cards the batch I’m going to show you today were all made in a similar style.  A4 base card scored to make an A5 card.  An image from one of the selection of Hunkydory “Little Book” I’ve got.  Some simple matting and layering, and a peeloff greeting.


I hope I don’t upset any of the crafting friends I have most contact with online – But Arrrr! I’ve been totally fed up over the weekend with the half truth, half misinformation, that a lot of people have posted and that are filling my news feed. 
(I think it’s mostly “friends of friends” I’ve spotted doing the mindless copying of stuff without actually checking it is true in any case as I don’t recognise a lot of the names involved, other than when a couple of friends have commented to suggest the poster checks with HoaxSlayer.)
All the accounts are being hacked” 
No! “All the” nothing are being hacked. If All were being hacked then the hackers would have more than likely changed the account password, and the person copying the “information” without checking whether it actually makes sense would quite probably not have access to their own FB account to post the copied piece.
 There are always hackers out there trying to hack people’s accounts, of all sorts not just FB, and one of the best ways to avoid being hacked is to have good, strong, different, passwords on all accounts. Make it difficult for them to hack, and have as little information about yourself included as possible – even use incorrect information as answers to questions that some sites use, so for example, if your mother’s brother David Davies is a FB friend and your interaction makes it clear what your relationship is, then don’t use Davies as an answer to your mother’s maiden name question on your banks site. It would be an easy one for hackers to guess, not necessarily to gain access to FB account but to other things. So lie when you initially set up an account and give answers to questions. Just remember what the lie was – use a password protected password keeper and note taker. Favourite teacher, first pet, favourite colour, food, etc, etc, are all things a determined hacker might read on your FB page and use to convince others they are you.
Hackers may have a go at hacking accounts they come across, but “All accounts” are not getting hacked.
 “The profile picture and your name are used to create a new facebook account.” Well this isn’t a description of hacking in the first place, this is cloneing. And yes, there is a lot of cloneing going on, but nowhere near “All the accounts”. Don’t know whether it’s just prevalent in crafting circles because we are such a large community with a large circle of FB friends, with others we come into contact with through crafting groups, or whether other hobbies are targeted as well, so yes, we are all likely to come into contact with a cloned account every now and then, but it is likely to be a small proportion of our FB friends or ourselves who are affected by being cloned. And getting cloned means that all the cloners have got access to is what’s public on your profile. So, yes, cloners do copy pictures and basic information from the profile of the person being cloned and use it to create a copy account.
And, of course, they target people who have lots of friends when looking for somebody to clone, because they have a long list of people ready to try and con. The first con is, as the half truth posts are saying, to send out friend requests from the clone account to all your friends, hopeing “your friends think it’s you and accept” – unless your friends have their wits about them, have a bit of sense, and say to themselves, “hang on a moment, I’m already friends with her/him”. 
 “From this moment, the pirates can write what they want under your name!!” Actually, from the moment the cloners create the clone account they can write anything they want in that clone account or any wall they have posting or commenting rites to, but usually they write very little because a different way of writing may give them away to anybody they are trying to con into friending them. They can never write everywhere the person they cloned can write because just cloneing and coning one friend to befriend them doesn’t give them that sort of access, but of course, if they can write on the posts of anybody who’s accepted their requests. They rarely do though.
One reason they might start writing on a person’s wall is to spam advertise, spread links to malware, etc.
But on the whole I’ve not seen a lot of posting from clone accounts on walls of the assorted people who have befriended them.
So, if you don’t already know, by now you are wondering why cloners bother cloneing accounts in the first place. What do they gain?
Well firstly they don’t need to hack anything, they don’t need to try and guess or crack a password. Just copy a few details and a picture and they are away.
Secondly, as people are likely to share more personal information with friends than they do public, as soon as somebody accepts their friend request they are likely to find out more about them.
Thirdly, the person who’s account has been cloned knows nothing about it, hasn’t been hacked, hasn’t lost control of their account, doesn’t know that anything is going on behind their back to be able to warn all their friends that the clone account is an imposter. Not until a friend actually asks them on their old account about the new friend request.
So the best defence from being taken in by a cloner is to search for that person’s name on FB and if more than one account comes up, with one already your friend, then you know to be cautious. Go to your friend’s account and see if anything is going on. Could be he/she already knows and has put a warning about the clone, or another friend has. Could be he/she has, for some reason, decided to start a new account so the second account isn’t a clone. One request I got lately was supposedly from a person I’d been FB friends with for years, and a quick check on the page made it obvious that she’s died over a year previously.  And yet she was supposedly making a friend request from beyond the grave, and over 40 had accepted a friend request from her.
One thing to note – quite often cloners block the person they’ve cloned from seeing the clone account if they search for their name. It slows down the person getting enough information to report the clone to FB to get it taken down. They may even block anybody who refuses their friend request. So getting a screenshot that includes the page address, before rejecting the friend request and marking it as spam, might be of help for the person who’s been cloned getting the clone down.
Next, what do cloners gain from the person who was cloned not warning their friends that the 2nd account isn’t them? Time! Time to do more conning because of course just conning people to become friends is hardly what cloners want. Yes, they could make money from click pay adverts if they start posting on friends walls. Yes they could get all sorts of malware onto computers if they post links to not so nice sites.
But another thing they do is go behind the scenes and use the FB messaging system to contact people directly. The aim being to con money out of them. There’s all sorts of leads they use, from the old chestnut of “I’m abroad and my money was stolen and I need £xyz to get home. Lend it to me and you’ll get it back, send it now” to the one about buying a lottery ticket together that won and needing bank details to pay over the half.  Basically not a lot different to the ones where E-mail rather than FB is involved. If the cloner times their con to when the person they have cloned is on holiday, then they have a better chance of succeeding.
So yes, there is truth within all these endless copies of posts I’ve been seeing more and more of over the weekend, but it’s not referring to anything new, it isn’t describing hacking, and the so called helpful warning is wasting time because those who copy and paste such info without checking for accuracy, and correcting it before posting, are just the type of person who would accept a friend request from the cloner without checking as well, probably just assume it’s  OK, or even message the clone who wants to be their friend – are you really so and so opening a new account, and accepting the reply – yes – before clicking the friend button.
Yes, that last statement is probably an over generalisation, but what I’m trying to say is that half truths thrown in with misinformation and very little information doesn’t really help educate those that are too trusting and accept everything they see online.

Click on each to see a larger photo of the card.

Christmas 2015 12 01 Christmas 2015 11 01 Christmas 2015 10 01 Christmas 2015 09 01 Christmas 2015 08 01 Christmas 2015 07 01 Christmas 2015 06 01 Christmas 2015 05 01 Christmas 2015 04 01 Christmas 2015 03 01 Christmas 2015 02 01 Christmas 2015 01 02


You can see my page on Facebook by clicking – here.

You can see the cards I’ve made using design sheets from CUP in my “Crafter Showcase Area” on – here
(Just scroll down past the top boxes to see the cards.)

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