PC Malware Sets Up Camp on Facebook
More and more businesses are connecting to customers through Facebook. Its a great tool, but dont fall prey to Facebook malware.
Facebook is a great tool. Thats the first thing to remember. The fact that cyber-criminals are targeting Facebook users in increasing numbers, and uploading dangerous malware to their computers, doesnt mean you need to close your account.
But you do need to use your head. With a bit of common sense and the right malware protection, your business can keep using Facebook to connect with customers.
Computer hackers are getting smarter. They have taken advantage of the popularity of Facebook to spread their evil ways. By luring unsuspecting users to click suspicious links and download tainted apps, the hackers are infecting thousands of computers with viruses and spyware. Some of this malware can steal your personal or company information, including passwords.
Often the bad links appear to be shared by your Facebook friends. A hacker will log in as a friend and then share the link on your wall, which routes you to a site where the malware is active. You might be prompted to run an application or update some common software, and thats when the malware strikes.
Tricky, huh? Yet most of these attacks can be avoided.
Avoiding these threats starts with a healthy dose of skepticism. Links that purport to take you to sensational news stories or expose the secrets of Facebook should be treated with suspicion. This is especially true if the addresses are in an abbreviated form, using services such as bit.ly. These shortened addresses are often used to disguise the true target of the link. Services are available that reveal where the links point (e.g., Long URL and URL X-ray).
If you do click one of these links, never accept prompts to download apps or updates to software, and certainly dont give away personal or business information. If your software needs to be updated, do it through the manufacturers website or your IT department.
You might think it cynical to distrust a post that appears to come from a friend or a reputable software or news source, but a bit of skepticism now can save many headaches later.
The makers of your antivirus software are working hard to protect you, but the hackers are working hard, too. Each year, thousands of new viruses are unleashed on the world, and you need the latest in antivirus updates to avoid them. Update your firewall protection as well.
Much of the newest antivirus software is designed to work with Facebook, checking links and apps for trouble before you click them or pass them on to friends. Investing in these packages is well worth it.
If you do come down with a case of malware, the faster you get rid of it, the better. This can save you from both extensive computer damage and passing it on to friends.
If youve contracted an infected Facebook app, you can go to your Privacy Settings and delete the app. You can also mark bad wall posts as spam. Both measures protect you while on Facebook.
If the malware has gotten into your computer, youll have to run your repair software. Should the damage be extensive, enlist the services of a virus professional.
Remember: Steering clear of malware starts with you.