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I use an alias on Facebook so how has this person managed to find me?

(22 Posts)
matildawormwood Thu 23-May-13 23:19:44

Sorry if this is a stupid question but I am new to social media and have no idea how this has happened. I signed up to Facebook recently in order to have access to a support group following a family tragedy. I had no interest in being on FB for any other purposes other than to join this group and I didn't want friends and family to see that I was on it so I did it using a made up name and didn't put up a profile pic. There are no details about me on my profile page and the support group is a closed 'secret' group. Since signing up, I've been inundated with lists of "people I may know", which freaked me out a bit but I'm guessing Facebook gets that from trawling through my email contacts. However, the other day I got a friend request from an old schoolfriend who I've had no contact with for over 20 years. How has this happened if I'm not listed under my real name, with no picture? None of the people on my support group would be mutual friends. I've never sent a friend request to any of our mutual friends. I'd be most grateful if someone could shed some light as it's unsettled me a bit.

BOF Thu 23-May-13 23:21:40

It's from your email list. Just don't add anyone that Facebook suggests. Your contacts still won't know who you are if you don't tell them.

ladyMaryQuiteContrary Thu 23-May-13 23:21:53

Do you have a new email address? They can use your email to find you.

HazeltheMcWitch Thu 23-May-13 23:22:29

Could she have got your email address from somewhere? Assuming, that is, that you signed up with your 'real' email address, and not an alias version?

Sorry re your family tragedy, by the way.

allinatizz Thu 23-May-13 23:22:45

or from their email list

just ignore them, or click "block"

facebook is a bit creepy like that. sad

D0oinMeCleanin Thu 23-May-13 23:23:26

She will also get the "people you may know" suggestions via her email contact list.

She probably just friend requests everyone she "may know" I wouldn't worry about it.

If it bothers you that much delete this FB acc and set up a new one with a new email address that you'll use only for FB.

matildawormwood Thu 23-May-13 23:27:21

I've never added anyone as a friend from the lists that Facebook suggests. I only have three fb friends and they are all members of this support group. And I've got the same email address I've had for about 10 years (which is not my real name either). I still don't really understand it.

VenusUprising Thu 23-May-13 23:29:18

Yes, change your email for your Facebook a/c.
Get a gmail one that you only use for fb - don't merge your address book.

Ignore any fb friend requests.
Delete that old fb a/c and start anew.

Sorry about your loss.

D0oinMeCleanin Thu 23-May-13 23:29:48

She will have some email contacts in common with you.

FB is always telling me I might know people I've never heard of before. They just share some email contacts with me, that's all.

juneybean Thu 23-May-13 23:30:01

You can search for someone using their e-mail address, did she know it?

nohalfmeasures Thu 23-May-13 23:31:45

I set up a new email account specifically for Facebook - you could choose an email address which is just a bunch of numbers.
You also need to make sure that the public can't see your email address. It's worth going into privacy settings and fiddling around.
Also, are you browsing secure facebook? If you look at the address at the top left screen of your computer it should start https and not just http. Interestingly you can opt to do the same for google.

twofalls Thu 23-May-13 23:33:28

Set up a new email address you only use for your fb alias and delete that account.

matildawormwood Thu 23-May-13 23:34:31

Sorry x-posted there. The friending everyone on the 'people you may know' suggestions could be an explanation Dooin. I don't mean to come across as paranoid, I just do find it really spooky how they seem to dredge up all these friends you've not seen for years every time you log on. It really did freak me out the first few times til someone explained it was via my email contacts. I had no idea they had access to all that. I have no idea why she'd want to friend someone she'd never heard of. I just really want to retain my anonymity as it's a valuable source of support but I am not interested in socialising and don't want to cause offence by not replying to friend requests.

matildawormwood Thu 23-May-13 23:39:11

Thanks for all of these suggestions. She doesn't know my email address as email hadn't even been invented last time we were in touch! I'll set up a new email account as suggested. This has made me feel really exposed.

Gobbolinothewitchscat Thu 23-May-13 23:39:37

I wouldn't worry about not replying to friend requests. If your page is totally private (under settings) then the person who sent the friend's request can't see anything so you vp can just pretend you don't go on facebook much and haven't seen the request if they ask

JoyMachine Thu 23-May-13 23:43:31

Just make sure you don't use your fb alias anywhere else IYSWIM, that way she won't track you elsewhere.

IKnowWhat Thu 23-May-13 23:48:35

.......and this is why I don't have Facebook grin


Snowballed Fri 24-May-13 08:32:31

I think those suggestions are friends of people whose email address you have. So someone whose email address you have is friends with her on their fb account. I think!

HabbaDabba Fri 24-May-13 08:40:25

As DOoin has said, your old friend probably knows a mutual friend who does have your email address.

I wouldn't worry about offending people by not accepting their friend request. At their end they see "CorrieFan" for example as a "friend" suggestion. They have no idea who CorrieFan is on real life. Not that it stops them from making a friend request.

matildawormwood Fri 24-May-13 10:01:39

It's very intrusive isn't it? There's no way I'd want to be on it under my real name. I had no idea that people could search for you by your email address. How do they do that? Just by using the normal Facebook search box? I think I need to look into making my page private, though I'm not sure how you do that. If you make your page private does that mean I won't pop up in other people's inboxes as a someone they 'might know'?
Thank you so much for answering by the way, I really appreciate it.

HabbaDabba Fri 24-May-13 10:16:18

I don't know if you can manually search by email address but unless someone is stalking you, why would they?

What typically happens is that fb will, in the background, look for connections between their members (what algorithms they use for this is known to certain high level geeks smile ).

I wouldn't worry about it. These people trying to 'friend' you don't know who you are in real life. Ignore them in the same way you would junk email/letters

fuzzywuzzy Fri 24-May-13 10:25:18

you can do a friend search via email, and also by phone number, if you have the person on your phone book and fb app on your phone.

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