Facebook can be a great place to meet new and old friends, connect with family, and network to its 500+ million users. With great networking comes great responsibility and the responsible thing to do is always make sure you are safe and secure on Facebook.
You might have seen some various "bugs" going around your friends wall, but haven't looked into the issue too much. Well, let's look at some of the Facebook viruses out there and how to protect yourself.
MONEY TRANSFER SCAMS
Someone tells you, either via Facebook chat, message, or email, that they are stranded in a foreign country and need money. Coined the “Nigerian 419” virus because many victims claim to be alone in Nigeria, the virus hacks your personal information listed on your profile in order to make it seem like he or she is actually your friend and to make the plea more convincing.
How do you avoid the scam? According to the Federal Trade Commission’s website, money transfer scams are successful because money wired to another country can be picked up at multiple locations, making the hacker almost impossible to identify or trace. NEVER send money in the mail without contacting the person in a secure form outside of the social networking site. If this is not possible, PCWorld recommends asking a very personal question that is not listed on your profile and only the real person would know.
If you believe your account has the 419 Virus, follow these steps:
1.In the Search box on your Facebook, type in “Facebook Security”
2.Click on the page “Facebook Security”
3.Select the “Threats” tab
4.Under “Money Transfer Scams” click on the “contact us” highlighted link, which will take you to a form for the 419 Scam
5.Once completed, your account may be cancelled depending on the level of infiltration.
THE KOOBFACE WORM
Here is how it works. Either a post on your wall, a message in your inbox, or a message in Facebook chat from a “friend” that tells you to click on a link to check out a video or a photo. The messages are enticing, saying something like “I just saw this hilarious video of you dancing! Your face is so red. You have to check it out!” Then, once you click on the link, it takes you to a site that tells you in order to view the photo or video you have to update your software. So you install the update because you oh-so-desperately need to see how red your face is, and the Koobface virus is uploaded into your Facebook profile, sending messages and posting on your friends’ walls the exact same message you were tricked by. Now, how to avoid it... If you think about it, a friend—or at least a good friend—would never open a conversation with a borderline-mean comment about how ridiculous you look somewhere on the Internet, and would usually start the conversation with “How have you been,” or at least “Hey.” Furthermore, you will never need to update your software in order to watch a video on YouTube or to view a photo. NEVER update software from a redirected site on the Internet; instead, go to your browser’s website and update it from there. If you already have it then you will need it removed there are steps for this listed on eHow, but we have found that the program usually has a replicator hidden and will come back without the aid of third party software.
There are the advertisements where a friend posts a link to your wall that suggests you try a really great product or service that has “changed his or her life”. The most common scams are diet tricks such as Acai berry shakes and colon cleanses, and working online at home by posting links on Google.
Now let's check out some helpful tips that can help you in the event your facebook begins to act squirrelly.
1. Reset your password to something that is not obvious and change it from time to time.
2. Avoid links. Avoid Links. Avoid Links. If you want to dheck it out, go direct to the vendor.
3. Run your security updates and virus scans. I use Microsoft Security Essentials (Free) and Malwarebytes (Free from www.malwarebytes.org).
4. Actually look at the Facebook Security page for tips and hints.
5. Avoid clicking on any links that end in .exe.
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