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Alexander: Strange log-ins to Facebook could be you

  • Article by: STEVE ALEXANDER
  • Star Tribune
  • March 6, 2012 - 6:20 PM

QWhen I checked my Facebook account's "active sessions" I found that it's been accessed from all over, including Missouri, Tennessee and Iowa. There is no explanation for why; you can just click on "end activity" for places you don't recognize.

I've changed my Facebook password as the company suggests, but the next time I looked at the account, another faraway place was accessing the account. Why is this happening?

Also, at least one of my friends has not received any of my messages. Facebook says they're working on it, but it's taken all of February. Any reason for that?

ZOE KEESLING, ELK RIVER

AThe strange locales that your Facebook connections appear to come from may be less cause for alarm than you think. Facebook guesses your location by the Internet Protocol (IP) address you use, but it's not that reliable.

If you're using a local Internet service provider, that IP address will roughly correspond with your geographic location. But if you're using a cellphone Internet connection, your data may be routed through a distant computer that has a different IP address. When I log in to Facebook using the cellular network in Minnesota, I appear to be in Albany, Mo.

(Note: To check where your Facebook is being accessed from, go to Facebook's account settings, choose "security" from the column on the left and click "active sessions." You'll see when and where the connection originated.)

If you think someone else is using your Facebook account, you can cut off their access by clicking "end activity" next to that active session. In addition, Facebook says you should then change your Facebook password and the password of the e-mail account you use as a Facebook login -- because anyone with access to your e-mail account can potentially gain access to your Facebook account, too.

Facebook message delivery problems apparently happen often, because the company provides a specific website to report them. See tinyurl.com/7xkewk5.

QI bought my wife a Samsung Galaxy tablet computer, but we returned it because it was unable to use games found at Pogo.com, where my wife likes to play along with her friends around the country. We learned the tablet lacks a "Java add-in" for its Android 3.2 operating system. Any ideas?

MICHAEL WEITZ, KISSIMMEE, FLA.

AI'm afraid you're out of luck. Google's Android operating system isn't able to read independent games written in the ordinary Java programming language because it uses a special version of Java. As a result, Java games must be specially written to work on Android, and Pogo.com games aren't.

E-mail tech questions to steve.j.alexander@gmail.com, or write to Tech Q&A, 425 Portland Av., Minneapolis, MN 55488. Include name, city and telephone number.

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