A 3-Part Series about How to Defend against Online Threats
PART TWO: Safer Social Networks
Good news: You can help in the fight against the cyber crooks and identity thieves who are constantly trying to cheat, swindle, or trick you (and many others) to get a hold of your personal information, control of your computer, and steal your money.
This is the second in a series of three blogs with recommendations on how you can better protect yourself and your loved ones on the ‘netby taking action – without putting yourself at risk for retaliation.
The golden goal of this series is to encourage you to be more than a passive target and potential victim of cybercrime. Every time you go online you need to be vigilant and be prepared like a World Cup goalkeeper would be for a match. You can use the simple but effective security tools that are available to us to help authorities and experts monitor and police the Internet.
The goal of this second blog is to make you aware of the specific tools at your disposal to make social networking sites like Facebook better and safer for everyone within the online community.
Reporting scams, spam, hoaxes, and more to Facebook
There are a number of activities by attackers that can lead to real problems for members of social networking sites like Facebook. They include but are not limited to:
Facebook is empowering members to combat the miscreants who are creating bogus accounts and misusing them for nefarious purposes or profit at the expense of legitimate members and organizations.
To its credit, Facebook has created and rolled out a tool that allows you to remove and tag a post on your news feed (the posts that appear on your wall). Thus, when you see something that offends you or you just don’t like it on your wall, you can remove it and label the post.
Options to tag an offending Facebook post
To report a Facebook post on your news feed that bothers you to Facebook staff, simply click on the down-arrow in the upper-right corner of the post.
From the options provided in the drop-down menu presented, select Report post.
Then when the Why don’t you want to see this? window appears, from the options presented select I think it shouldn’t be on Facebook.
Then you will be presented with the What’s wrong with this post? options as seen in the screenshot below.
You can apply one of six options to the offending post that will provide Facebook site managers with guidance on how to handle it. One of the options is: “It’s a false news story.”
If enough of these “tags” appear on an objectionable or false post, Facebook’s staff will take measures to reduce its visibility and might even add a disclaimer that reads: “Many people on Facebook have reported that this story contains false information.”
According to Facebook, you don’t have to worry about good posts being wrongly tagged as just “a small set of publishers who are frequently posting hoaxes and scams will see their distribution decrease.”
A Facebook spokesperson says, “Since we made this update, our initial data shows that the number of complaints we’ve received from people about this type of false content on Facebook has dropped.”
Another great example of how to fight back
Here’s a great example of how an individual fought back against Internet scam artists. A comedian called a scammer’s phone number and impersonated an elderly couple just to see how low the scammer would go. It turns out pretty darn low. Watch the video: Scamming the Elderly Online.
As always, we recommend you employ a strong security package from a major security software vendor like Trend Micro. Get Trend Micro Internet Security, which includes a feature that identifies privacy settings on Facebook, Google+, Twitter, and LinkedIn that need to be adjusted so as not to reveal your personal information and lead to identity theft.
Follow Trend Micro on Twitter and use the hashtag #ProtectYourNet.
Read the other blogs in this series:
PART ONE: Safer Email
I work for Trend Micro and the opinions expressed here are my own.