Recently a large number of users on Facebook were hit by a massive spam virus which was designed to post explicit and adult content on the user’s wall, and also send the same content via Facebook Message. The affected users reported about this issue on Twitter and also made a decision to temporally deactivate their Facebook account.
The Facebook Security team were contacted regarding this issue, but were unclear about what caused such a barrage of offensive images on the site. However, they stated that they are “aware of these reports and [is] investigating the issue.”
With over 800 million users on the social networking giant, it is quite easy for scam links like this to spread quickly. However, this equally possesses a threat to other users. This article provides with some tips on how you can identify scams on Facebook and take precautionary measures to help prevent your Facebook account from being hacked.
How to Identify Facebook Scams
Facebook scams generally have unusual titles and descriptions by which you can easily guess that it is a scam. For instance, here is a scam message that recently broke out and has been spreading like wildfire on Facebook -
From the image, you can notice the title – “98 Percent of People Can’t Watch This Video for More Than 15 Seconds” and the description – “CLICK LINK TO WATCH VIDEO & SEE HOW LONG YOU CAN LAST!!,” itself indicates that it is a scam. When you see messages/posts like this on Facebook, which has short URLs or blogspot links, then it is advised that you avoid clicking the link and delete the post from your Timeline (news feed).
How to prevent your Facebook Account from being hacked?
Sometimes, scammers are too smart and send phishing emails, which claim to have come from the official Facebook team. These emails appear very similar to the official Facebook emails in terms of logo and the style of writing. However, if you notice things clearly, you will identify that the email is a phishing attempt.
The URLs attached in the emails are shortened using services like Bit.ly. Facebook never sends its users emails with short URLs. If in case you receive and email with a short URL or a fake Facebook URL, then the next thing you need to do is hit the “delete” button.
Here are more tips on how you can identify and avoid Facebook scam messages -
- Avoid clicking on short URLs. If you really want to see where the URL leads to, then try using http://longurl.org/ to expand the URL.
- Avoid strange messages sent to you by your friends. If you feel that the message is inappropriate, then you always have an option to ask your friends and verify it.
- If you receive messages sent by a user who is not on your friends list, then check for any links and read tip 1.
- Minimize the use of applications on Facebook. They’re quite useless.
- If you are asked to grant permissions after clicking on a link, then make sure that you are granting permission to the right application. You can always revoke permissions by going to Account > Account Settings > Applications