13 Ways To Avoid Hustles And Scams On Facebook

Despite continuing improvements to Facebook’s immune system, scammers, clickjackers and other digital villains continue to concoct new schemes.

Fortunately, like most things in life, with just a bit of common sense and a little know-how you can be way ahead of the game. As a gentle reminder, here are some great guidelines to follow:

  1. Most security threats are really “social engineering” efforts hat con the user into clicking a link. If something seems too good to be true — like a free iPad or something else of value — it’s probabl fake.
  2. Don’t install Facebook apps from publishers you’ve never heard of.
  3. Enable secure browsing in Facebook. This is where the web address begins with HTTPS.
  4. If you see any kind of message asking you to do something in order to continue to have free access to Facebook, delete it.
  5. Be cautious of any posts on your wall from friends that have shortened or encoded links, which are likely to be spam.

Let’s not forget that while scams and tech hustles start on the Internet they then wreak havoc on your PC, so you want to protect that point of entry:

  1. Make sure your operating system and browser are up to date.
  2. Make sure you have real-time antivirus protection that is actually turned on and up-to-date; supplement that with additional anti-malware protection or a full security suite.
  3. Create and use secure, hard-to-guess passwords.
  4. Change them frequently and use different passwords for things like email, Facebook and online back data back-up.

Of course the goal of many scams is not just to screw up your PC and your life, but also to steal your identity and everything you own. Here’s how to avoid that:

  1. The most important things you can do are the most basic things. Unfortunately, they are also often the most overlooked.
  2. Make sure your operating system and browser are up to date. For Windows users, this means making sure Windows Update is turned on and automatically applying updates.
  3. Make sure you have real-time antivirus protection that is actually turned on and up-to-date. You can supplement that with additional anti-malware protection or a full security suite.
  4. Create and use secure, hard-to-guess passwords. Change them every so often. And use different passwords for things like email, Facebook and certainly for any online back data back-up. Use a password manager if you need help remembering them.

Readers, have you or someone you know experienced any security problems on Facebook?

Guest writer Nicholas Skrepetos is chief technology officer of consumer software at Support.com.

Image courtesy of Shutterstock.

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