NORTH HAVEN -- A message spreading like wildfire on Facebook is warning users to avoid accepting a friend request from Jayden K. Smith -- but the message is just the latest social media hoax.
The message reads:
"Please tell all the contacts in your messenger list not to accept Jayden K. Smith friendship request. He is a hacker and has the system connected to your Facebook account. If one of your contacts accepts it, you will also be hacked, so make sure that all your friends know it."
While it's never a good idea to accept a friend request from someone you don't know, accepting a request from a stranger will not provide a hacker access to your online accounts or Facebook profile.
Mass friend requests to users are against Facebook's terms of conditions and would be quickly flagged by the social media company.
Similar warnings have circulated on Facebook for years with different names swapped out in each hoax message, according to Snopes.
“This one is gaining momentum,” said Brian Kelly, chief information security officer at Quinnipiac University. “These types of warnings have been around long before Facebook, affecting users of various instant message and email services, where users would pass on warnings of phantom messenger hackers trying to add themselves into your contact list. Adding strangers on Facebook isn’t a good idea, and can potentially lead to compromising your privacy and your security, albeit not in the manner described in this warning. Accepting strangers gives them access to more of your personal information which can lead to issues such as identity theft.”