Are you getting odd friend requests on Facebook lately?

It's a question that kept popping up this week from different people, so 10News WTSP asked all of you on our Facebook page.


We literally got hundreds of comments that many of you are seeing the same thing.

People from all over the world, including from Middle Eastern countries, are asking to be your friend.


We decided to go to an expert to find out what's going on an how you can protect yourself.

University of South Florida information systems professor Grandon Gill says there's no definitive answer as to why people who you don't know are requesting to be your friend, but you should be cautious. "For example, if there happens to be someone from the military in these networks, they might be able to start to pick up information from their profile that would identify for example who they are, where they are."

He says many are also looking to steal your identity.

Here are some suggestions on how to protect yourself:

-- Don't accept friend requests from people you don't personally know. If you do, it will open up all of your Facebook friends to this stranger and that person can request more friends.

-- Check your profile. Don't include information like your birth date, address, phone number or maiden name. That can be enough information for someone to steal your identity.

-- Check your privacy settings on Facebook. Make sure you know who can request you as a friend and who can see what you post.

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