You may receive Facebook friend requests from people you do not know. Default settings on Facebook allow any user to send you a friend request through the social media network. Use common sense and err on the side of caution if you do not know the people. Also, recognize that people may have changed in appearance or name since you last communicated. Send a private message through Facebook if you are unsure whether you know the people or not, before you decide whether to accept them as friends.
As a Facebook user, you may receive friend requests from people you do not recognize by name or by profile photo. By default setting, anyone on Facebook can send you a friend request. The contacts cannot be added to your Facebook profile without your consent. There are different ways to respond to these friend requests to maintain your privacy on the social media network.
You May Actually Know the People
While Facebook friend requests may appear to be sent from strangers, you may actually know the people. People may have changed their names; women often change their surnames when they get married. People may also look different in their Facebook profiles photos than when you last communicated with each other.
Keep these points in mind when you initially get a friend request from someone you assume that you do not know. You may not want to dismiss the person immediately on Facebook.
Send a Private Message on Facebook
When you get a Facebook friend request, send a private message to the person to inquire if you know one another. The message goes to that user’s private Facebook messages page. Ask the person how you know one another, just in case you are connected in some way. Be polite in your message in case you do know the person or in case he or she decides to copy your Facebook message elsewhere.
Use Common Sense
If the person does not message you back on Facebook in a few days, feel free to delete the friend request. You do not owe the person an online friendship simply because of a friend request. Remember that while Facebook encourages people to use their real names and identities, people may not always be honest in their profile details.
Be careful who you add as a friend to Facebook as you likely have personal information posted on your profile. You may have your city of residence and birthdate listed in your bio. Some people use Facebook as a way to find out personal details to carry out identity theft. Do not become a victim to having your identity stolen online by accepting a friend request! If you do not know the people who send you the requests, err on the side of caution and do not add the people.
Limit Your Facebook Privacy Settings
If you do not want to receive Facebook friend requests from any person who has a profile on the social media network, you need to adjust your Privacy Settings. Under the Privacy Settings tab at the top right-hand corner of the Facebook screen, select “How you connect” and then “Edit Settings”. For the option “Who can send you friend requests?” change the default setting from “everyone” to “friends of friends”. This option is the most restricted one currently available for friend requests on Facebook.
Block the Person on Facebook
If you are uncomfortable with the private messages you receive from people you do not know or simply do not want to be contacted by these people again on Facebook, you can block them on the network. Once blocked, these people can no longer find you in a Facebook search to send you messages or to send you more friend requests.
To block people, go to the Privacy Settings tab and select the “Blocked People and Apps” heading. Under “Message Blocking”, enter the name of the users or email addresses you wish to block. Once completed, the people can no longer contact you on Facebook.
When you receive Facebook friend requests from people you do not know, be wary of your privacy and dangers of identity theft. If you are not sure whether you know the people or not, send polite messages to confirm. If you confirm you do not know them, you can block them from future Facebook correspondences if you prefer. Retain your privacy and err on the side of caution by not adding people who you do not know as a general rule.
Stock.xchng, www.sxc.hu/photo/1151047, Hilde Vanstraelen