Viruses, Hackers and Worms, Oh My!

Viruses, Hackers and Worms, Oh My!

As I was checking out my News Feed on Facebook one evening, I saw a potentially hilarious YouTube posted by one of my friends. I clicked to watch and boom: I was taken to this really weird website with a bunch of other videos that I had no interest in seeing. I swiftly hit command+W on my keyboard to exit the page. Next thing I know, I see the same video I had clicked on posted on my profile page for all my friends to see.

I soon became incensed and quickly removed the post from my profile. I then spent the next 15 minutes doing damage control, making sure that I hadn't posted that link on other people's walls, (more importantly TheEyeWorks).

In order to help you avoid this, or something a lot worse, I've created a quick list to keep your Facebook profile (and more importantly all the information it contains) safe.

1. Be wary of who friends you

I started using Facebook in college and would add "friends" after I had met them in class, campus or parties. Lately, I've been getting some strange Friend Requests from people I've never spoken to, online or off. I usually ignore them and think you should do the same.

Those of us on Twitter are more likely to start following random people because we don't share nearly the same amount of personal information in comparison to Facebook. Some people really put their entire lives on Facebook. It's a bit easier to keep some sense of privacy behind Twitter's 140 character curtain.

2. Jimmy doesn't write like this!

You know your friends and family and more importantly you know how grammatically correct they are (or aren't) when they send messages online. If Jimmy doesn't usually use punctuation on his messages, then there is no reason why he'd send a message with perfect syntax and a link to a gorilla attacking a zoo keeper.

3. Hmm… looks like a lot of people are sharing this

Sure, you are bound to see more than one friend sharing the same content on Facebook. However, similarly to the trap I fell into, it maybe a worm or something worse! Do a Google search for the title of the video. If the virus/hack/worm has "gone viral" you'll probably find an article about it. A quick search can do wonders.

Hopefully this list helps keep safe you as you surf Facebook while you're at work… I mean, at home.

Have something to add to the list? Feel free to let leave it in the comments or send us a message on Facebook or Twitter. Also, what are some of your favorite Facebook worms/viruses/hacks?

Image: Justin Marty, "BSOD Stop c218" via Flickr Creative Commons Attribution

Posted by Eric Garza on 04/18 at 01:02 PM in Social Media

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