Recently, I’ve been faced with an onslaught of spam messages on both Facebook and Twitter. Some are offering a free iPad with just one click, others claim that there is a bad blog about me that I need to see. No matter what the hook, it is obvious that people are clicking the links and spreading the spam.
I remember this being a problem with email (in fact it still is). However, the trend in social networks is moving towards sharing links which makes your friends and followers easy targets.
How can you avoid spamming everyone connected to you via social media?
First of all, always check permissions from applications that you use on Facebook. It is easy to just allow an application permissions if you are more interested in seeing what the application does. However, if you take a moment to read through the permissions you may find that you are allowing an application to not only post on your newsfeed but also your friends’ walls. If an application needs that sort of permission, there is a good chance it spam.
It can also be as simple as not clicking on links you are unsure of. Try to hover your mouse over the link. Often, the full URL will pop up. If it doesn’t look reputable, then it probably isn’t. You can also ask the sender of the message/post if they sent the post to you. It is always better to be safe than sorry!
Be aware of what scams or spams are popular in different social networks. For example, you can follow Tweet Smarter on Twitter and be updated on scams that are popular.
What do you do if you click on a spam link?
If you happen to click on a link that is spam, be sure to immediately change your password. You may also want to run a virus scan on your computer to confirm that the link didn’t infect your computer. Monitor your account closely for the next several days to be sure you aren’t still sending out spam. If you have allowed a Facebook application permissions to post on your friends’ walls you can go into your account settings and deny that application permissions.
What has been your experience with internet spam or scams? What do you do to avoid falling victim to them? Share your insight in the comments below!