A new language has emerged amongst those who thrive in the digital space, mostly led by the poster child of social media networking on Facebook. We cannot imagine our lives today without words like timelines, profile page, like, unlike, post, share…and the list goes on. We have loved it, hated it but we all want to live within it-that’s the reach of Facebook today across the world. Initially, it was fun, entertaining, engaging but today, one needs to be cautious. The web is a scary place with scamsters, thieves, trolls and malicious pranksters, who are waiting to glean information, harass you or just pull a fast one on you. Lets view Facebook in terms of Dr Jekyll and Mr Hyde analogy.
All of you having a presence on Facebook must have seen posts on various charities asking for donation against clicks, or a celebrity asking you to like him, or a video that needs to install a software in order to watch or some malicious false news doing the rounds about calamities, celeb deaths etc . The list is endless as much malicious activity takes place daily, so one needs to be aware and prepared to mitigate the effects. The effects could be theft of personal data, harassment, malicious activity in your name etc.
We have identified some tips that will help you steer clear of Facebook scams and hoaxes:
1-Don’t like “Like”
This is one of the easiest ways scams occur. Do not get carried away and click the “Like” button, unless it’s from a trusted source or a brand you follow on Facebook. Scams run in the guise of the number of likes one can collect, having a commercial motive many times. Be alert.
2-Charity does not begin in your Facebook account
Trusted and reliable charity organizations like to be simple and will not resort to gimmicks to gather attention or donations. Do not get carried away by sob stories, or tragic tales floating around. Do search for the source of the story, and verify it and contact the concerned entity to check on facts. Then do the real thing by stepping up and doing charity in the real sense.
Win free I-Pads, phones, cameras …etc. Enticing as they may appear, no one gives away freebies for ransom clicks. If there are contests to be entered into, proceed at your own risk and try to log into the company’s website to check if they are running such promos as all may not be genuine. A freebie can cost you your digital peace in real time.
4-Verify the veracity of posted information
Celeb deaths, tragic accidents or calamity; rumours abound the world of Facebook. Whenever you come across a suspicious sounding post, please verify the source and try searching for it on the related news websites before sharing it amongst your friends or on forums. Otherwise, you are directly participating in this shady activity.
5-Be a crusader
If you have been played, please share the update at the earliest to protect fellow communities. In case you are aware of any suspicious post or entity, please share it with your friends to ensure that this digital abode is protected.
Applying the above tips may not give you absolute immunity, but the initiative of staying alert and safe starts with you. Take control of your Facebook destiny by keeping it scam free.