How Do You Spot A Facebook Scam?
Everyone’s on Facebook. To cybercriminals, that means only one thing: everyone can be stolen from.
Since we often treat social media as an extension of ourselves, it’s easy to let down our guard about security issues that we’d be vigilant about in real life. Given that we think that our social media is limited to our friends and actively encourages us to share details about ourselves with them, it’s easy to just treat it as something personal.
But such a mindset would make you vulnerable to the very real threat to your online privacy: Facebook scams and schemes. Personal details are a goldmine for cybercriminals, and Facebook is the easiest way to get them. Here are some scams that you might encounter in your feed someday.
Installing a new feature
We always want our software to be up to date, especially the ones that we use so often. After all, why wouldn’t we want to use the latest version of Facebook? Or launch them with new features that might make it more fun for us to use?
Here’s the thing though: they may not always be of Facebook’s doing. Ads and links that ask you install a new application or extension to improve your Facebook experience are often unsafe. Facebook will normally push out updates on their site with a notification on your timeline, and will never ask you to install something on their behalf.
Something is wrong, let us fix it
Another common ploy is to make it seem like something has gone wrong with your profile, either by showing a message or a warning. Other times, you’ll be contacted by another Facebook profile claiming to be with support.
Don’t fall for it. Facebook takes their online security very seriously, and will announce it on the platform itself if there are people running into issues about their profile pages. They will also never ask to control or gain access to your profile, either.
We all like free stuff, and cybercriminals are quick to take advantage of that. Especially during the holiday season - which is usually the time of year companies will do giveaways - you’ll most likely see at least one link or ad that advertises a free gadget or prize for simply participating. You might even see a couple of people comment on it, claiming to have already received their prize.
The best way to learn if such giveaways are legitimate is checking the official page or website of the company that’s sponsoring it. Under no circumstances should you click the link itself, or enter any information at all if you have. Most giveaways function on a randomizer scheme that will pick out a winner, and will never ask for your personal information.
The best way to really go about potential Facebook scams is to follow the mindset of “if it seems too good to be true, it probably isn’t true.” Doing a little research of your own can go a long way into preventing yourself for falling for these schemes - and keep your online security intact.
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