So many nasty viruses are going around on Facebook and Twitter, and at Christmas holiday time they are likely to be targeting us even more.
Getting duped into to clicking on that spam link, can be potentially embarrasing if it then spreads amoungst your friends or followers, and can be worse still if you are totally unware that you are spreading it!
What can happen is that the person spreading the virus/hoax/spam can be totally unaware sometimes, not just for hours, but for days that they are spreading a potentially harmful online virus. Why? Usually because they are not checking their own output on their social media or email accounts, and might not even be checking their accounts for direct messages from other’s alerting them to the fact that their account has been hijacked. To help us all from spreading social media and email viruses there are a few ways you can keep an eye on your accounts automatically, and at least minimise the spread.
Don’t Click That Link!
- Firstly, never click a link to anything via social media without trusting the account that is sending it.
- If the link is coming from an account you do trust, but says something like “See this funny picture of you” or “someone is saying bad things about you” and its not even addressed personally to you, don’t click it.
“Check out who’s looking at your account” type virus’s have been going around for years, and only the wording changes, resist the temptation to click.
What Happens If You DO Click That Link?
If you do click on a link on Facebook or Twitter that looks like its coming from a trusted friend, if it is indeed a malicious link, it will take you to a website where malware might be downloaded on your computer, this might cause your other accounts to be exposed, or you computer might freeze up. Worst of all if you input your log in details from your social media account on the page in order to see the alluring…”Who is looking at your profile” scam, your account will be hijacked and it will look to others as if you are posting all the spam under your name.
What Should I Do If I’m Hijacked?
If this has happened to you, log in to the hijacked account and change your password immediately. And if that doesn’t prevent your account from continuing to send out the scam or virus, contact the social media platform or email provider and alert them. Also if possible alert your friends and followers that your account was hacked, and that they shouldn’t under any circumstances click on the post.
Watch Your Accounts!
The other solution to prevent the spread of a virus amongst your dear friends and followers, is to check your accounts daily, to look at YOUR posts as well as others. There are some automated alerts you can set up, so you can see what your accounts are posting and can get your direct messages sent to your computer and phone through popups. I can recommend using Twilert, for Twitter, this online software sends me a daily update via email, listing all the Tweets that I’ve sent out each day from my account, and I ALWAYS briefly check it. I have a few auto tweets that go out daily, and this way I can keep an eye on my output, and check that my account is under control.
All my direct messages on every social media platform I’m a member of are also are set via the account settings, to be emailed to me, so I don’t have to rely on going to my accounts to see them. I also have notifications that pop up on my computer through open apps, when ever someone messages me, via Menu Tab Pro For Facebook and Google Plus and through Tweetdeck. I also get alerts sent to my phone, I get a pop up whenever someone messages me. So unless the attack takes place over night when I’m sleeping…(and there’s a good chance that this is when they will strike) at least I’ll get the messages when I turn my phone or computer on.
Now Is The Time To Sort Your Email Out!
Lastly….be sure your email inbox is under control. If you are getting hundreds of emails unfiltered into your inbox every day, you won’t be able to even keep up with your email enough to see any alerts sent to you. You might be missing THE very email that alerts you that your social media account is spreading spam or malware. If you continue to spread the virus unknowingly for any length of time, there is a good chance that your friends and followers will disconnect from you or unfollow you, and you certainly don’t want that.
I wrote an article about how to sort out your email, Check it out! It is so worth getting your email inbox in a state where emails go directly into the correct folders when they are downloaded, you get alerts for important ones, and get rid of all the spam you don’t want clogging up your mail box. Not just for virus alerts but also for your sanity!
How successful were you in cleaning up after a virus, did you have to contact the social media or email provider? Let us know in comments.