There are many people, just like me, who after the day’s work, visit their Facebook page. It’s one of those ways I ease off the stress of the day. On the average, I spend about 30 minutes on Facebook each day.
However, there are persons who visit Facebook more frequently and spend more hours per day, updating their status, uploading pictures and videos, commenting on other people’s content…wow! It’s a whole lot of flurry activities. Facebook is indeed, one of the most popular social networking sites.
Indeed, “If Facebook were a country, it would be the third most populated, right after China and India”. With well over 500M users on Facebook, you can bet that there will be more and more criminals who will use it as a valuable source of profit and information. Criminals, who want to spread Malware, spread viruses, gather information and steal your identity.
If you are a Facebook user, you must have seen something like
OMG - I just hate RIHANNA after watching this video
you will lose all your respect for RIHANNA after watching this
When you click on the link, the video in question takes you to a BlogSpot page which looks very similar to Facebook and will ask you to install a plug-in on your computer to view the video. This plug-in is actually a Virus. It will also prompt you to share the video with friends before you can view it. That way, the virus keeps spreading.
There is another case of Facebook spam that promises you that you can see who views your Facebook profile. Many people fell for it. Through this means, people have given out vital information about themselves. Truly, some persons have lost their money and identity to these criminals.
But how do you protect yourself from all of these threats? How can you stay safe while still having a swell time on Facebook? You need to be cautious about the information you share, and who you share them with. Here are 6 tips to stay out of trouble.
1. Don’t Share Your Full Date of Birth
I still see a lot of Facebook users sharing their full date of birth. TURN IT OFF! There really is no reason why you should share you full date of birth with anyone interested. You’re making it one step easier for an identity thief to wreck your life. Besides, do you really want everyone to know how old you are? Head to your Profile Settings and turn it off! Friends will still see your birthday, just not the year you were born.
2. Don’t Share With Everyone
Personally, I only share my Facebook updates with those that are confirmed as my friends. That means that when I check in at a restaurant, or tell my friends I’m on vacation, I’m not broadcasting that to the entire world! Check to see if you are sharing your updates with just your friends or the entire world by looking for the drop-down option on your last update. In addition, Do not mention when you’ll be away from home. When you tell your friends through Facebook that you are not going to be home, you are inviting criminals trolling Facebook profiles-especially unsecured profiles-to your house.
Do not share the details of your child’s life online. Most importantly, with the security situation in Nigeria, you should be careful about the sort of information you share with the public.
3. Don’t Friend Everyone
Facebook is not a popularity contest. Don’t add just anyone to your network, simply because they ask. Studies have shown that thieves and hackers set up fake profiles, just so they can try and infiltrate your network and steal information that is useful to them. You could become a victim of kidnap, because, when you become friends with people you don’t know, you expose yourself to lots of risks. Some persons have up to 1,500 friends… come on. If you are that popular, then create a page!
Don’t click on just any link you find on Facebook. Be wary of all links like ‘ OMG, i just hate Rihanna after watching this video’. Ask yourself what difference it would make if you don’t watch the video. Truth is, even if you don’t like her there are millions of others who do!
Furthermore, for persons who love to play games, for instance, you will agree with me that before you use any application on Facebook, it requests for access to your Facebook information. Most people just go ahead and click ‘Allow’ without going through the terms. What they fail to realise is that they have also given the application permission to post on their behalf. If you must use that application, then you should restrict the visibility of the posts that app will makes. You can limit its visibility to just you.
5. Ensure you’re not your boss’ friend on Facebook.
Sure, it seems like a great idea for your boss or employer to be your Facebook friend. But then, you need to be very cautious of your activities. Be sure you don’t rant about how much you hate working overtime. Or you post photos titled ‘beach things’ whereas it was the same day you called to inform him you were sick and couldn’t go to work.
6. Always ensure you log out of Facebook when you’re done.
When you’re finished browsing Facebook, be sure you log out. This will prevent threats, such as ‘Likejacking,’ that leverage logged-in sessions to Facebook.
Likejacking is a form of clickjacking, or the malicious technique of tricking users into posting a status update for a site they did not intentionally mean to “like.”
One example of this: In June 2010, hundreds of thousands of users fell victim to likejacking after clicking links that read, “LOL This girl gets OWNED after a POLICE OFFICER reads her STATUS MESSAGE,” and, “This man takes a picture of himself EVERYDAY for 8 years!!”
After clicking the link, users were asked to “click here to continue.” The following page contained a clickjacking worm that posted content to the users’ walls.
If you have forgotten to log out of Facebook from a computer or mobile device, you can do so remotely. From your Account Settings page, click the “Security” tab on the left. Select “Edit” next to Active Sessions.
The following information will show you where you’re logged in on other devices, when you last accessed it and the device. To log out of any of the sessions, just click “End Activity.”