It’s no surprise to find that 50% of the world’s internet users can be found on Facebook, with over 5 million people from New Jersey alone. Some say that Facebook is the new MySpace, though we’ve seen in recent years that Facebook is more successful and popular than MySpace could have ever been. We’ve also seen that Facebook is less sketchy than MySpace. Although Facebook is a great tool, and quite an enjoyable one, it is not without its faults. It can be easy to unknowingly harm your computer as a Facebook user. Here are some tips on how to avoid viruses on Facebook.
Watch your Messages
Many problems on Facebook can be avoided by simple watchfulness. Keep a weather eye on all that is happening. You are the one who is controlling what people can see, and how private your life is. When you check your messages, look at who they are from and the preview of what the message says. If the message preview doesn’t look like something that the sender would normally say, it might be a virus. If it has a link, it’s probably best not to click it. If you get links from New Jersey Facebook users you don’t know, ignore them. Delete them. Many times links that get sent to you will automatically download malware files without your knowledge. Some of them will allow the entity to gain access to all your personal info and friends. At that point your profile could be used to spam others with and equally bad or worse type of spam. Just like watching your email, you should watch your messages so you will know when a link is fine and when it is infected.
Watch Your Notifications
It is fairly common to see a notification that says that someone “posted something on your wall” or “tagged a video of you”. Usually when this happens with a bad link it has a standard notification symbol, making it hard to spot with the rest of the notifications. One way to verify it’s source is to think of the context in which that user would post something on your wall or tag you in. If you haven’t been filmed on camera recently, chances are slim that you’ll be tagged in new video. If you are really curious about the validity of the notification, go to your profile manually and check if there is anything posted there. Many times these generic kind of notifications will take you to a permissions pages asking “Allow Access?”. A real notification should never ask that. If it does go to a permissions page, never allow that application to have access to your information and friends list. The terrible thing about some links is often that first click gives them access so they don’t have to send you to a page asking for access. If they get access, without you knowing, they can monitor your activity, take your information, and spread malware to your New Jersey friends using your account.
Fix Your Mistakes
It’s easy to make mistakes like the ones here, especially if you are new to Facebook. The most important thing of all is to learn from your mistakes and fix them. If your friends tell you that they have received messages and posts from your account, that look less than credible, chances are they you clicked on a bad link. You’ve done it once make sure you don’t do it again. Watch closely what gets on your profile. There are few things that have to be done to undo what has been done on your account. The first thing you want to do is apologize to your friends for perpetuating the spam malware. The next thing that you want to do is edit your applications. On the left hand bar of Facebook, the third section down should be “Apps”. Hover over it and click more. When it brings up the full collection of applications select and delete anything that you don’t use or recognize. Anything that you see that seems suspicious you should have access privileges revoked on them. If possible block the application that seems to be the culprit.
Keep up Your Anti-Virus
Another thing needed to keep your computer safe from Facebook, or from the internet in general, is good anti-virus software. Most people are content to use the software they get with internet company packages or additions to programs that they buy. That shouldn’t be what protects your computer. Get a dedicated computer protection program, and keep your firewall up. Perform daily scans, and update the latest definitions, so it is ready to repel any malware files.
There is no way to be 100% safe from Facebook if you are user, but you certainly can be more careful. Follow these tips, and it will make your Facebook experience more enjoyable.
by David Molnar