Facebook - how to effectively defend yourself against spam?
Spam has become established on the web for good, taking on newer and newer forms. Most often it is associated with unwanted or worthless electronic messages that are sent regularly to e-mail. Its overriding goal, however, is to reach the largest possible group of recipients, which in the era of anti-spam protection may be a difficult task. Recently, new types of spam have appeared on the web, sent via the social networking site Facebook. Below we present their characteristics and ways to protect against the use of our personal data.
Facebook: "This is how 18-year-olds have fun at home houses"
How to encourage a large group of recipients to click on a link in a short time? The method is simple: all you need is a catchy headline and a shocking photo. One of the most high-profile incidents in recent weeks has been a fake news headline titled "This is how 18-year-olds have fun at home." Of course, there were also eye-catching photos of naked and partially censored teenagers. What was this form of spam for? The main goal turned out to be the desire to extort money, because in order to view the full content, you had to subscribe via SMS. However, it was enough to click on the link and the profile of the unsuspecting user was used to carry this information further.
After clicking on the link with the video, the recipient is transferred to the fictional news-fakty.pl website. There you can read a short information about the alleged party, as well as a flash window, similar to a web movie player. To add piquancy, a note was also added that the film is intended only for adult viewers, and it will be possible to play it only after providing the phone number to which the activation code will be sent.
As a result, the fraudsters will send us an SMS subscription, the cost of which is PLN 2.46 / day. The spam makers have additionally protected themselves with the regulations, which are placed in a barely visible small font in the player window. After receiving the PIN number on the provided number and then entering it, the user accepts the terms of the Badabee website. It is worth emphasizing once again next to the "day" amount, because the fee is charged for each day of the subscription, so within a month we can lose up to about PLN 75 from our account.
How do I remove a threat?
Fortunately, if the service is activated, we can easily deactivate it. To do this, send a free SMS message with the text STOP BD to the number 60235.
However, while the subscription can be bypassed, the unconscious use of our image may be more difficult to avoid. This is because when you go to the entry, a window appears asking you to accept the Cookies policy. However, it differs from other sites in that a city name is required. In fact, it hides a Facebook comment form, so we unconsciously consent to the use of our image.
Facebook: "Fun in the sun ended with pregnancy"
Until recently, another type of spam described above also threatened Facebook users. The controversial title "Teenagers played in the sun. Three of them are pregnant" is another extortion attempt, which, fortunately, Facebook representatives have already removed.
After switching to a fictional fanpage, there was an opportunity to watch an alleged movie with teenagers, which in fact was not there. First, however, it was necessary to enter the verification code, which was nothing more than agreeing to like (become a fan) of the page "Teenagers played in the sun. Three of them are pregnant". At the same time, spam was displayed on the user's wall, which attracted more people.
As in the first case, also here a message appeared asking for a phone number. This action activated the premium service, which charged PLN 2.46 / day every day.
Facebook: "See Paul Walker's Death!"
The latest spam on Facebook concerns Paul Walker, an actor known from the blockbuster movies "The Fast and the Furious", who recently died in a car accident. This time, the scammers prey on the tragedy, offering the opportunity to view the material, allegedly recorded on the camera by a random witness. The catchy headline “[Full Video] R.I.P. of Paul Walker ”. This time, the click may be more dangerous for the user, as in order to view the advertised material (which is not actually there), a credit card number must be entered.By default, during verification, users unknowingly consent to the publication of the entry on their board.
Does facebook allow you to remove spam?
Below are some useful tips for future protection against clicking on unsolicited spam or unknowingly liking a page maintained by fraudsters:
- go to the main page of our profile at www.facebook.com/profile.php,
- in the side menu, select and click "I like it",
- from the list of websites we like, we check suspicious profiles and if we want to remove them, click on the small icon on the right, and then select "I don't like" from the drop-down menu,
- we confirm the change by clicking the "I don't like" button.
Removing unnecessary applications
- in the upper right corner, next to personal data, click on the gear icon,
- from the drop-down menu go to Account settings,
- on the left side of the side menu, click on Applications,
- we see a window with a list of currently used applications - here we can change who they are visible to (including Public, Friends, Friends of Friends, Only me) or completely delete - to do this, click the X icon next to Edit.
The above method will help to effectively protect our Facebook account against spam and attempts of phishing personal data. It is worth remembering that there may be further attempts to persuade you to subscribe in the future, but the above tips, combined with common sense, should effectively protect our privacy.