Leading consumer advocate David Horowitz is offering extensive advice about Internet scamming. I’d like to share it in its entirety over the next few posts. If I tried to cram all the information into one, it would read like a lot of blah, blah, blah. And we all know how easy it is to zone out, or scroll down the page without really digesting what we’re reading. I’m as guilty of this as the next person.
And so…I give you Mr. Horowitz. Applause…applause…applause.
MANY OF US spend a great deal of time reconnecting with old friends, exchanging photos and videos, and doing business on social networking sites such as Facebook, Twitter and MySpace.
Cyber-crooks have also turned their attention to the big social sites because they’re rife with potential victims–Facebook alone has more than 750 million members–and the threats are new enough that many people haven’t given much thought to how to defend themselves.
Protecting yourself against social networking scams entails being aware of what they look like and properly securing your personal information when you are connected to the Web. Here are some of the most common social networking scams.
OMG, did you see this picture of you?
You receive an email or an instant message claiming a picture of you has just been posted–check it out here! Immediately, you click on the link, which takes you to your Twitter or Facebook log-in page. There, you enter your account info.
Unfortunately, both the email and the landing page are fake. That link you clicked took you to a page that only looked like your intended social site. It’s called phishing, and you’ve just been had. A cyber-criminal now has your password, along with control of your account. From there, those up to no good can access information that may help them hack into other accounts of yours.
To prevent this, make sure your Internet security includes anti-phishing defenses.
Take this quiz–all your friends have taken it!
On many social networking sites, you see questions that are supposedly funny or clever, such as what type of character you may be from your favorite movie. You may be prompted to do something fun, such as find out your I.Q. or vote for your favorite song. You enter your information and cell phone number, as instructed. You have just unwillingly subscribed to some dubious monthly service that will charge your cell phone $9.95 a month.
…intermission…bathroom break…time to raid the refrig…pet the dog…splash water in your face…
…PROCEED TO THE NEXT POST………pretty, please?…