The Best Ways To Invade Someone's Privacy

So you want to be a creeper but you don't know how? Not to worry, we can help you out. It's easy to invade someone's privacy and gain access to their personal accounts. Here's how.

Photo by Orla (Shutterstock).

Note: This post discusses ways you can invade someone's privacy, but was written tongue-in-cheek. We don't actually recommend you do it. Some of the suggestions are borderline illegal, and most are definitely unethical. Use the information here to protect yourself, not hurt others.

Ten years ago, or even five, you couldn't easily find out much about a person without digging through their garbage or spying through their window. Thanks to the internet, so much has changed. Most of us live in public online, even if we erect virtual walls around our lives. It's easy enough to break down those walls, especially if you have contact with the person whose privacy you want to invade.

Create A Fake Facebook Friend

When your target's a friend, you're probably already Facebook friends with them. If you just know them peripherally from school, work or wherever else, you have a lot to gain through their Facebook profile. Because your goal is to virtually stalk this individual, it's better to conceal your own identity. Creating a fake email address and Facebook account is a great place to start.

What should you put in your fake profile? Include information that makes you seem like someone your target would know. If your target is a university student, claim to attend the same university. Perhaps they'll think they met you and just don't remember who you are. Your fake identity should offer a few similarities (such as age, interests, location) to help your target think they could know you, or might want to. Use a fake photo of someone they won't recognise who's realistically attractive. Create activity on the page so it doesn't look like you emerged from the ether a day ago. If possible, include photos of your fake self with other people so you look like you've lived a life. You don't need many -- just enough to be convincing. If you have a few photos of yourself and many photos of other people, it will look like you take most of the pictures.

Before you send a friend request to your target, send requests to a few of their friends first. You may not get approved by them all, but if it appears you know at least a couple of people in common they'll be more likely to accept your request when it comes. You'll also want to send friend requests to others they don't know so you seem relatively popular. The more your false identity looks like a real human being on Facebook, the fewer reasons your target will have to doubt your authenticity.

Once the two of you have become "friends" on Facebook, you'll be able to see what's going on in their life. Additionally, you'll have a means of communicating with them anonymously so you can learn more about specific events without blowing your cover. You'll also gain access to their profile information. If they're not good at managing their Facebook privacy, chances are they're letting all friends see their phone number, email address, and possibly even their exact location. This is bad news for them, but great news for you!

Finally, if you want to go all-out and you know how to code, you can build a fake Facebook app. Make it look like a game, a personality quiz, or a networking app of some kind. It doesn't have to do much in reality, it just needs to look like it does. The important thing is that it grants you access to personal information they might otherwise restrict. Most people don't bother to audit their Facebook apps (which is pretty stupid). You can use this to your advantage by creating a simple app that does little more than grant you access to data they'd normally keep private.

Gain Access To Their Smartphone

Smartphones contain a wealth of information, so if your target has one you can look through it while they aren't aware. Some people are paranoid about creepers like you so they put a password or passcode on their phone, so snooping might be a little more difficult. Not to worry -- you have a couple of options.

First, if they use a simple four-number passcode it's pretty easy to figure out what it is. Just hold the screen under light and look at the fingerprints. People often unlock their passcoded phones with their thumb because the keypad is bigger. You'll find a higher concentration over the location of the numbers used to unlock (unless your target likes to wipe their fingerprints off regularly) and you can match those up with the numbers on the keypad. You'll need to try combinations of those numbers to figure out the exact passcode and this can take a little while, so ensure you've got a little time before swiping their phone. Dates and numbers that spell out words on the keypad are good places to start, but you can give yourself a great clue by just watching them unlock the phone a few times. Pay attention to where their thumb movies and you should be able to guess the number sequence pretty easily.

Having broken into their phone in person once, it's a pain to keep going through it every time you want information. Fortunately, spying software such as Mobile Spy can solve this problem easily. Although iPhones will require a jailbreak to use it (it's easy enough to jailbreak someone's phone yourself, even without their passcode), most devices will work without too much hassle. Mobile Spy costs $US100 per year, but that's a small cost to pay to remotely track your target's location, read their text messages, view their call logs, see all the photos and videos they take, monitor their web and social media activity, and more. Mobile Spy even allows you to view the user's screen remotely, and since smartphones don't immediately conceal passwords when typed this is a great way to find out your target's login credentials to other sites. Basically, if you can get this software installed you can have it all.

Crack Their Passwords

When all other methods fail to deliver, just go the hacker route and crack their passwords. Whether you're on Windowsor Mac, we can offer a guide to help you out. With access to their passwords you have next to know restrictions on what you can learn. Your target's entire life will be at your fingertips.

Of course, many services (such as Gmail and Facebook) offer security measures to help notify users of when their account has been accessed by displaying IP addresses at the bottom of the page. Beware that you may be caught if your target is savvy enough to check this information and change his or her password upon discovery of your unwanted access. Additionally, if they use two-factor authentication cracking their passwords won't help you much at all. Fortunately, most people don't bother and there's a good chance you'll have no trouble being the all-powerful creeper you've always wanted to be.

Lifehacker's Evil Week is all about topics such as password cracking, social hacking and other 'questionable' tricks. Knowledge is power, and whether you use that power for good or evil is in your hands.

WATCH MORE: Tech News

Comments

    EDITED: After revision, my comment was a load of douchery.

    Last edited 17/10/12 11:42 am

    Given all the mass media hype about the creep issue on Reddit, is this really the time to be promoting "The Best Ways to Invade Someone's Privacy"? Couldn't this be easily misrepresented as promoting breaching online privacy (which after reading the article is only a small stretch anyway) or is this simply a shameless attempt to cash in on recent events which actually have nothing to do with this blog? I look forward to the next article "The Best Ways to Murder Your Enemies and Bribe the Jury".

    And I really don't think you can argue that that single sentence at the end of these articles really allows the site to wash its hands of the consequences.

      Sure, it could be misrepresented. But if you're going to misrepresent something, why would what the article actually says be an issue?

      We've run Evil Week posts for three years and they've always stirred up plenty of discussion, including this kind of response. It's not a kneejerk reaction to anything recent.

        Evil week does make me feel uncomfortable... but it's like watching a car crash, I just can't look away!

    With gmail ;
    "Additionally, if they use two-factor authentication cracking their passwords won’t help you much at all. Fortunately, most people don’t bother and .........." quote from above article.

    I think 2 factor is really great. Had a compromised gmail account, now using 2 factor. Should be standard IMO. cheers

    There's nothing *borderline* illegal about accessing any computer system (including phones) without permission, whether you crack their password or not.

    It's a pretty clear cut case of "unauthorized use of a computer system" aka hacking, that could land you in jail, and/or banned from using the internet for a very long time.

    This is a great article for telling you what you can do to keep yourself more secure. Don't accept friends on facebook unless you actually know them, maybe wipe your phone clean once in a while, and go get yourself one of them new fandangled 2-factor logins

    Fake Facebook profiles are easier to spot than they used to be. With the timeline format, you can easily see when someone joined. Fake profiles won't often put more than a couple of months' worth of effort into cultivating a back-story, if that. There are exceptions, but it requires very dedicated creeps.

    Also, scattershot friend requests increase the chance of tipping off someone savvy, who will report the offender's profile and ask the 'mutual friends' how they know them.

    Basically, these tips may work on people dumb enough to already post things publicly, in which case you don't need the tips. Invading someone's privacy who is actually pretty savvy is beyond the scope of this article, but would still be a good discussion during evil week (social engineering, identifying services with weak password resets, using 'stripper name' quizzes to find out answers to common secret questions, etc).

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