SOCIAL NETWORKS

If you're concerned your facebook account may have been hacked, report it at facebook.com/hacked

 

When you see an emotional photo/post or an enticing video on FB which asks you to ‘like’ &/or ‘share’ it, think twice before you do as it is likely to be a scam. In just a few days, posts such as these could have received thousands of clicks, enabling fraudsters to earn themselves a tidy sum by selling the page on the black market and exposing your existence to criminals. These people are exploiting your good nature and are benefitting financially from it, while you are unknowingly compromising your security. My advice is to only ‘like’ or ‘share’ something on FB if you are 100% sure it is genuine.

 

Free giveaways offered on FB are so tempting, but more often than not, they’re scams that are known as 'like-farming', pages which are created to gather as many likes as possible for commercial purposes. Cyber-criminals profit from selling the pages for black marketing. They can also use them for fraud, targeted phishing and malware attacks. There are lots of similar like-farming pages created on Facebook promising all sorts of 'free' giveaways etc. By liking and sharing things like this, you're basically telling criminals you exist, and your security may be compromised. If it sounds too good to be true, it very probably is I'm afraid! To report a scam, go onto the page, click on the ‘Settings cog’ and choose ‘Report page’, then ‘This is spam or a scam’. Learn more about 'like-farming' scams and how to avoid them at Hoax-Slayer.

 

If you see a picture or quote shared on FB and you wish to share it too, save it to your device and then re-post it from your files – that way, if it was originally posted for like-farming purposes by scammers, they will have no record of any of your details. If you’re unsure what like-farming is and want to know more about it, please see my post above.

 

Did you know you can add ‘Trusted Contacts’ to your FB account (the people on FB you’d trust to give a spare front door key to if they lived next door)? They would then be able to help you get back into your account if you ever lost access to it.

 

Are you aware that you may not be getting to see all of your FB friends’ statuses, or those of pages you 'like'? FB settings default to 'Most updates' when you add a friend or 'like' a page, so you don't get to see everything you may want to see in your news feed. If you don't want to miss any someone’s statuses, click the link to go into their timeline or page and do either of the following: On a friend’s timeline – on the right hand side, hover over the ‘Friends’ button and ensure ‘Receive updates’ is ticked, then click ‘Settings’ and ensure ‘All updates’ is ticked; On a liked page: hover your cursor over the 'Liked' icon near the top right of the page, then click on 'Settings' and choose 'All updates'.

 

If you post photos from your smartphone online, be sure location settings for your camera are turned off, or you could unknowingly be putting your safety at risk.

 

Did you know you can download your FB profile to your computer? This provides your own personal backup of your profile, and will be useful if ever you permanently lose access to your account.

 

Have you noticed videos posted on FB are playing automatically? I like this feature, but if you have limited mobile and broadband allowances and/or struggle with keeping your ‘phone battery charged, it could turn out to be an expensive and annoying gimmick. To turn auto-play off on your ‘phone or tablet, go into Facebook’s settings on your device and there should be an option to turn it off. To turn it off on your PC, go into Settings by clicking on the arrow to the right of the blue bar at the top of the FB page, click Videos and choose Off.

 

If you are interested in ordering an item from a website that you have seen featured on a shared post, be sure the website shows many ways of contacting the company, and check for names of key personnel in the company too. If you’re not convinced, Google those people with the company name and if it’s a scam, the search results would be likely to tell you so. If you’re still unsure, enter the web address on scamadviser.com - this will give you more of an idea of how genuine the website is and hopefully help you decide if you really want to be making a payment to this company.

 

Parents’ guide to the latest social media and instant messaging trends, from familylives.org.uk.

© 2018 by Jo Stacey.  All rights reserved.

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