I’ll save you from villains on Facebook

Simon Bays Director of Happy Media, inventor of the Frape alarm app for the iPhone.

Simon Bays Director of Happy Media, inventor of the Frape alarm app for the iPhone.

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IT is billed as a “fun but effective method of protecting against Facebook sabotage”.

The blushes of many a social networker could be saved from the humiliation of hackers making bizarre confessions or rude remarks in their name on the popular internet site.

Innovative city firm Happy Media has designed an iPhone app to flag up unusual behaviour on a Facebook account. The device, called the Frape Alarm, is the brainchild of 21-year-old Simon Bays and has just gone on the market at a cost of £1.99 per download.

Mr Bays said: “The Frape Alarm is set to become a vital tool in helping social network users to ensure that their accounts remain secure.”

According to the online Urban Dictionary, “fraping” usually involves altering profile pictures or changing a person’s sexuality status, but can also include “the poking or messaging of strangers from someone else’s Facebook account”.

The app works by sending a message to the account holder telling them if their account appears to have been compromised. It is triggered by certain words which are associated with Facebook hacking, such as offensive language.

The app also analyses status updates and interactions with “like” pages and friends to determine if an intrusion has occurred and will notify the user within 30 seconds.

The app’s inventor hit on the idea after he too fell victim to offices pranksters intent on vandalising his Facebook page.

He said: “We all use Facebook quite a lot and this has happened to me a few times and I thought, ‘wouldn’t it be good to have something to safeguard against this’.

“I think it’s a big plus point that there are hundreds of apps available but I haven’t seen anything like this.

“You could say it’s got a broad appeal because so many people use Facebook, but I would suggest that it would be particularly popular in shared living environments where you might forget to log off your account, perhaps for students or maybe in an office.”

Asked if he felt the name of the application bordered on the controversial, Mr Bays – a former nightclub promoter who owns his own online retail business – said: “It’s quite light-hearted and not to be taken too seriously.”

david.mccann@edinburghnews.com