There have been many a scam, pranks and even malicious links and software that spread through Facebook. A lot of them are difficult to spot for the trained eye let along the innocent Facebook user who has logged in to see what her friends have been up to.
Here are some of the tips you can use to stay safe on Facebook.
Examine carefully and ask yourself
The most recent of such scams was a video called – ‘this is without doubt the sexiest video ever!‘.
This case in point serves as an excellent example of how being a little vigilant goes a long way in saving you a lot of embarrassment and worse – harm to your computer. The sexiest video scam appeared as a video on your Facebook wall if any of your friends fell victim to it.
Here are some of the questions you should ask yourself, whenever in doubt (note how these easily help you identify the video in question as a scam):
- Has the video, link or the post been posted by someone you know? If not, stay away from it.
- Did one your friends posted the video? Is it a surprise that "this" friend posted such a video? (Now, I don’t mean to pick on your choice of friends, but generally, you can get an idea if such posts coming from your friend makes sense or not) If you are surprised, most likely your friend has fallen victim to one of these scams, sostay away!
- Does the link, post or video behave suspiciously? If you clicked on the video in our example — it will take you to an application page, that requests you to allow access to your profile and friend list before you are allowed view the video. That right there is a big, “NO, NO!” Should you really be required to give access to your profile just to view a video? Absolutely not.
Knowledge is Power
Yes, it really is. Even on Facebook! Having information about what is happening on Facebook can help you stay away from scams and pranks like these. An excellent way to do so is by visiting Facebook Security. You can also click on the Like button, which should let you view the updates in your stream. The Facebook Security page has excellent content on the recent threats, scams and pranks going about on Facebook. It also from time to time lists external resources on online safety and privacy that can prove helpful and add to your knowledge as well.
Also, do check out some of our posts about Facebook security, privacy and general tips and tricks! Not forgetting, the other resources you can go through to find out more about Facebook: Top 10 Resources and Articles To Know Everything About Facebook.
Keep Your Computer Safe
A vigilant and trained eye can save you a lot of trouble when dealing with pranks and scams on Facebook. However, even the pros make mistakes but that is how they learn. So be prepared for the worst.
As always, you should keep your operating system, browser and antivirus program (here are some of the best free ones) updated. Many antivirus programs and browsers can detect rogue links and websites and warn you to stay away from them.
Don’t blindly trust anyone
This may seem a little too far fetched, but if you think about it, it makes real sense. You can never be sure that it is really your friend who sent you a message or posted on your wall. Of course, I don’t mean to be critical of each and every message or post; but if something seems out of the ordinary, you better be alert, think and make sure you ask yourself some of the above mentioned questions before proceeding further.
Recently, there has been a lot of hype about Facebook privacy controls and the way Facebook shares your personal information with other sites. While that might be a topic of discussion for another day, it goes to show how important each and every update that you make, each friend request you accept or each link that you click on Facebook is.
The cliched “With great powers, come great responsibilities” could never fit Facebook better than now. The present situation and tremendous popularity also requires you to keep an eye out for scams, pranks and malicious intents.
Hope these tips make your Facebook experience a little more safe. If you have other similar tips to share, we would be more than happy to hear them in comments!