Facebook Viruses: Don’t be Fooled
Facebook is the place to talk with friends, share photos and catch up with old acquaintances, but you shouldn’t have to deal with Facebook viruses. Unfortunately it’s also the place to get infected with computer malware. The most well-known recent infection was the Koobface worm, seen at first as a video offer.
“Check out this Paris Hilton video!”
“I caught you on a secret cam!”
Click on the video attachment, and you get instructions to load a viewer for the video, usually Flash Player. If you agree to download the viewer, your computer gets infected with all sorts of nasty things.
Common Facebook Viruses
Hackers are lurking, just waiting for the moment of vulnerability. Here are some other schemes:
You get a Facebook message that a friend of a friend is stranded overseas and needs money right away. Even if you don’t transfer any cash, the hacker now has the initial contact to weasel their way into your confidence, either getting your computer infected or using your friend list to find new prospects.
You get a message that there’s a problem with your Facebook profile, and some troubleshooting has to be done to find the cause. You’re asked to run the Error Check system” app, or maybe it’s “Profileye” — no matter the name, it’s still not a good idea at all to download and install the program, which passes on your secret data back to the hacker, who can now pretend to be you and can post things to your wall the spread the virus or even send messages to all your friends.
An ad appears on your wall asking you if you want to change your life working at home posting links or buying this fantastic product, usually something like Acai berry shakes or a colon cleanser. Still, people do click on the ad and infect their computers.
Dealing With Facebook Viruses
Here’s some basic tips to avoid Facebook viruses:
- Don’t use any words in your Facebook profile as a password, and change your password every month.
- Don’t assume your Mac is safe from virus attack — it isn’t.
- Run frequent virus scans.
- Never leave Facebook by simply closing the window — always log out.
- Read the FACEBOOK SECURITY web page at the Facebook website often for the daily updates.
- Never click on an unknown link that ends in an EXE.
If infected, let your computer’s anti-malware app take care of the situation. If it’s too much for the app to handle, you may have to restore your computer’s file and OS from a clean backup copy. At the very least, change all your login information so that your friends won’t also be targeted by Facebook viruses.