I Was Accidentally Charged $700, Had My Picture Published As Someone Else And Only Embraced Internet Security Afterwards

I Was Accidentally Charged $700, Had My Picture Published As Someone Else And Only Embraced Internet Security Afterwards

Pay attention to where you information is on the Internet because it could be misused without you ever knowing.
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Bing. Email.

"You sent a payment of $663 to Facebook."

Bing. Text.

"Hey, this is your picture in this magazine. I didn't know you were a doctoral student conducting research with your professors."

Sadly, both of those scenarios were me, all in a span of three months. Let me explain:

Last semester, I took a class that required to learn and execute Facebook Ads. Obviously, a credit card was linked so students were not using their own money. Well, somehow my PayPal got linked to the student account (my fault, and I'm not ashamed to share that). It charged me once at $30 and got it reversed on my own, so I didn't tell anyone.

Then it happened again, double that amount.

So, I told my professor (good idea, Rebecca). We had quite the banter back and forth with Facebook, and they ended up taking even more from my account instead of giving it back to me. Well, they fixed that, but I still didn't have the funds back from the second time. Let's just say we settled the second time around - I got about half back, but I'm not mad because I thought I wouldn't get anything back.

Fast forward to this semester. I got an email last Wednesday informing me Facebook had charged me almost $700 for Facebook Ads. To be really honest, I flipped out. I thought this was over with, and I was afraid I wouldn't get the money back. Long story short, there was a mistake and my card was never removed from the class that had access to these funds.

My point here is, know exactly where your information is going on the Internet, whether it be Facebook Ads and PayPal or Facebook and those games that you get annoying notifications for. Thankfully, I am getting a total refund.

Last year, I was in an intern for CollegeFashionista.

Basically, I took photos of fashion and wrote blog posts about it, and I had a profile picture just like any other communication medium. For some reason, whenever I googled my name, this photo of me would pop up - none from Facebook, Instagram, LinkedIn, etc..

About a year later, my roommate's grandma texted her, "Hey isn't this your roommate?"

The photo I mentioned earlier had been mistakenly placed in a magazine, wrongly attributing me as a doctoral communication student.

Now, that sounds fancy, but it is still my photo in a magazine, with no permission to use.

I had mistakenly gotten into a slew of emails, and the reporter had googled my name instead of the correct Rebecca. Apparently, he used the first photo that popped up.

What if that wasn't even the correct Rebecca?

Pay attention! Pay attention where your photos are, whether it be on a blog, social media, etc. If you have to, put a Google Alert for your name. I would have never found out about it, and the magazine probably would have never mentioned it to me.

You know how annoying it is when you try to make an easy password, but you didn't put a special character in? Just do it. Protect your stuff, and know where your information goes.

Cover Image Credit: Rebecca Calloway

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Does Technology Make Us More Alone?

Technology -- we all love it and we all use it, but how is it affecting us?
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In this day and age, it is near impossible to do anything without the use of technology. You can pay your bills, manage your bank accounts and even chat with a customer service representative all with the use of your smartphone.

Is the use of technology starting to take away from our person-to-person interaction? Think about how often you grab your smartphone or tablet and text your friends instead of picking up the phone to call them or, better yet, making plans to hang out in person.

Technology is supposed to make us feel more connected by allowing us to stay in touch with our friends by using social media sites such as Facebook or Twitter and of course, texting. But are our smartphones getting in the way of socializing? Does technology make us feel more alone?

There is a term that is commonly used, "FOMO" –– short for "fear of missing out." Yes, this is a real thing. If for some crazy reason you don't check your Twitter or Facebook news feed every 10 minutes are you really missing out?

The fact that we have become so dependent on knowing exactly what is going on in other people's lives is sad. We should be focusing on our own lives and our own interactions and relationships with people.

Technology is making us more alone because instead of interacting with our friends in person, we are dependent on using our phones or tablets. We start to compare ourselves and our lives to others because of how many likes we get on our Instagram photos.

We are forgetting how to use our basic communication skills because we aren't interacting with each other, anymore. We are too busy with our noses in our phones. Young kids are dependent on a tablet to keep them entertained rather than playing with toys. That is not how I want my children to grow up.

As a society, we will start to become very lonely people if we don't start making changes. We are ruining personal relationships because of the addiction to our smartphones and checking our social media sites every five minutes.

It's time for us to own our mistakes and start to change. Next time you reach for your phone, stop yourself. When you are with your friends, ignore your phone and enjoy the company of your loved ones around you.

Technology is a great thing, but it is also going to be the thing that tears us apart as a society if we don't make changes on how dependent we are on it.

Cover Image Credit: NewsOK

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