Do you know how to detect Facebook scam? Read on to find out what you should be wary of…
When people think of Facebook, they most commonly think of connecting with the people they know, both from their current life or from a time gone by. They might also think of news articles, funny memes and jokes as well as deals and offers that are tailored to their preferences. What they don’t often think of, however, is scams and nefarious users out to cause harm. Unfortunately though, this is increasingly becoming the reality.
With 1.6 billion monthly active users, Facebook certainly offers ample opportunity for scammers looking for easy targets to prey on. Cisco’s most recent report on cyber security found a stunning 33,681,000 examples of fraud and scams happening on the social media site.
Part of the reason that Facebook scams are so successful is the measure of intimacy we feel with our newsfeeds. When we enter our password and log into our account, we feel as though we’re entering a space that’s protected, where we have some measure of control over what’s going to happen. Facebook’s highly sophisticated algorithm is usually so good at showing us elements we want to see that we expect that it will filter out dangerous or potentially harmful content we don’t want to see. In addition, while we are much more wary of clicking on unknown links or opening questionable attachments in our email accounts, when it comes to Facebook our guard is let down slightly as the public awareness of these scams isn’t as widespread as with email scams.
While Facebook’s security precautions and anti-scam teams work hard to decrease the number of these incidents happening, they are not foolproof. As Facebook learns of what scammers are up to, those same scammers evolve and change their tactics to thwart detection. The best line of defense, frankly, is vigilance and being informed about the kinds of tactics scammers are using, and what you can do to avoid them when you’re using Facebook. Here’s a look at some things to be mindful of and some good habits to adopt if you want to avoid being a victim of a scam.
Be aware of the types of scams: One common scam is posting a link to a viral piece of legitimate content—a video or funny meme, say—and then once it’s garnered a lot of engagement on Facebook, switching the URL so it redirects to something harmful. Thus, make sure you click on links of reputable websites and publishers.
T&Cs: We are so frequently asked to agree to terms and conditions on the internet that we often do it automatically. However, if you’re being asked to accept T&Cs by someone other than Facebook (when you’re using Facebook) be aware. You could unknowingly be signing away your personal details or browsing history to someone with nefarious aims.
Entering your details: Similarly, be extremely cautious of any site or form that asks you to enter your details. If you’re already registered on Facebook, the social networking site should rarely – if ever – ask you to re-enter your personal information. If someone is asking you to do so, you should look into why they need it.
Trusted brands aren’t always what they seem: A common type of scam is a trusted brand offering a bogus offer that seems too good to be true. They may have set up a fake page that seems to have all the right images and branding, but is actually not authorized or a part of the brand to be offering such things. In this case, try and verify the offer elsewhere and always follow the old adage: if it seems too good to be true, it probably is.
Verify your settings: Even if you have your Facebook settings on the most stringent privacy setting, you need to check back often as updates occur. Updates to Facebook’s actual T&Cs can often opt you into things you’re unaware of, so be consistent about checking your privacy and security settings every so often.
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