More than 1 billion of us across the globe use Facebook to socialize, communicate, and share. We message our friends, let the world know what we’re up to, post our favorite photos, get the latest news from the biggest brands and even play games. In just a few short years it has become the indispensable online platform at the center of our lives. There’s just one problem. The bad guys are out there too.
For all their guile, cyber criminals are a predictable bunch: they always follow the money. So it’s pretty much a no brainer that if an online platform boasts as many as 1.3 billion users, the bad guys won’t be far away – scheming to infect your computer or mobile device and steal your data.
Danger one click away
Malware on the platform comes in many shapes and forms, from malicious rogue apps to click- or like-jacking scams. One particularly popular technique is to create a post that promises to take the reader to a salacious or shocking video. Of course, clicking through will most likely trigger a malware download, which could steal your personal information or send out malicious messages and updates from your account. Often that malware will infect your account and then post itself out to your friends, so now it looks like you personally shared it.
Survey scams are another popular tool for cyber criminals to get at your account. In this case the user will normally see a post on their friends’ wall offering a free discount voucher, gift card or similar if they click through. After doing so they’ll often be asked to share or like the offer and leave a comment, before being required to take a survey in order to receive the gift. This will involve giving up more sensitive personal information, which could open the floodgates to a whole heap of spam emails, unwanted phone calls and pop-up ads.
HouseCall to the rescue
The good news is that Facebook is well aware of what’s going on and has teamed up with us to help its users better protect themselves. HouseCall is our highly popular scanner for identifying and removing viruses, Trojans, worms, unwanted browser plugins, and other malware. It’s quick and easy to use and will work regardless of your existing security solution. What’s more, HouseCall is powered by Trend Micro’s leading cloud-based threat prevention service the Smart Protection Network, enabling it to spot and block all the latest malware.
Users whose machines may have been infected will be notified by Facebook with the option to download the free version of HouseCall to scan and remove the offending malware. They can continue to use Facebook while the scan is taking place and, once complete, a message will pop-up to notify them if the clean-up was successful.
Facebook has expanded and enriched our digital lives in a way few could have predicted at the start of the decade. But the dangers of data loss and malware infection are never far away. So let’s keep ourselves safe from harm with tools like HouseCall as we navigate the world’s largest social network.
Please add your thoughts in the comments below or follow us on Twitter; @TrendMicro.