Protecting Your Facebook Account from Scams & Viruses.

Have you ever received a popup message like the one to the right?  Yeah, if you keep your chat box open I am sure you have.  Yesterday I received 5 of them all within a 3 minute time period.  I had turned away from my screen to watch some of a baseball game and when I came back my screen was filled with the spam messages.

Protecting your Facebook Account from virusesSo, here’s the real question: Can you really spy on who is viewing your Facebook profile? In very simple terms let me give you an answer.  NO!

So what happens when I click on those links to see who is viewing my profile on Facebook?

Answer is pretty simple.  Most of them make you go to a Facebook connect page of some sort.  When you allow the application permission you basically open up your entire world inside Facebook to the program.  They normally take that information and go on to phish all your friends and see how many they can get.  There are a few instances where it will open up your inbox and send out phishing scams to your email contacts as well.  Once these get access there is no telling what the predators might do with the information.

How to Prevent Facebook Phishing Scams

It’s actually a pretty simple thing that needs to be done to prevent these scams from infecting your accounts and possibly your computer.  Simply do not add any applications on Facebook that seem shady.  Also, I will let you in on a little secret.  There are not real programs that allow you to see who’s viewing your profile.  Also, when you see the ones that say “OMG! What were you doing in this picture!” don’t click on them.  Simply delete the post from your wall and email the person it came from to notify them that they have been scammed.  Another newer scam I’ve seen on Facebook are ones with photos of an older man saying this is what I’ll look like in 20 years, check your self.  I knew this one was a scam when I got 7 of them posted to my wall in under 10 minutes.  Four of them were from females.

The best rule of thumb is to just leave these things alone.  Besides, does it really matter who views your profile?  Facebook gives you filters and security settings to protect your info from those you don’t want seeing it.

How to fix your Facebook Profile if it has been infected.

If you have have clicked on one of these scams by mistake, do not fear.  Normally you can fix them by doing a few simple things:

  1. Change your password- A lot of these programs can only access your account by using your password.  If you change it, they are finished.
  2. Remove unwanted Facebook Applications- This one is a little more tricky, but my friend Mike Mueller gives shows you how to kill a bad Facebook App.

I hope this helps and remember, if the app is not from a trusted source, don’t allow it permission.  If a link comes through that looks weird, don’t click it!

Jeremy Blanton

Jeremy Blanton is the Co-Founder of 210 Consulting- Social Media Advisors. He is a social media speaker who shares with thousands of people each year on things like how to use Facebook for Business, Blogging, and How to use Twitter.

When he is not coaching or speaking, he spends most of his time working on Custom WordPress Sites for his clients.

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  • Changing your password from time to time might be a good thing, but I don’t think it stops the app scammers on FB. You’ve given them permission to your data with the “like”, but I don’t think that includes the password – since they don’t need it, you gave them permission. Your #2 suggestion, clear out the apps, is the better one – remove permission, and then if you feel the need then go change password, too. Good stuff – more folks in my streams need this, too.

  • So So many people need to understand this. My feed gets littered every time
    a new scam comes out. Thanks for commenting Rick!

    Jer

  • wanted to say a big thanks to the author! really interesting topic, especially when facebook becomes more and ore popular with every single day!!! thanks a lot! i hope that now i will have less problems with my account, cause sometimes i am ready o give up an close it!

  • Mike- You are not alone! I had another 4 spams on my wall this morning!