- Beware of “What type of STAR WARS character are you? Find out with our quiz! All of your friends have taken it!” or other similar quiz type posts. They require you to crate a quick profile, and you enter your info and cell number, as instructed. After a few minutes, a text turns up. It turns out you’re more Yoda than Darth Vader. You’ve also just unwittingly subscribed to some dubious service that charges $9.95 every month. Be wary of these bait-and-switch games. They tend to thrive on social sites.
- By their very nature, social media sites make it easy for us to stay in touch with friends, while reaching out to meet new ones. But how well do you really know these new acquaintances? That person with the attractive profile picture who just friended you — and suddenly needs money — is probably some cybercriminal looking for easy cash. Think twice before acting. In fact, the same advice applies even if you know the person.
- Beware of chain letter type posts. It may appear in the form of, “Retweet this and Bill Gates will donate $5 million to charity!” or “Stop animal cruelty! Click like and share!” Both the cause and claim are fake. So why would someone post this? Once the page has a sufficiently high popularity rating (by getting lots of “likes”) , the scammer either removes the page’s original content and replaces it with something else (usually malware or scam advertising); Many well-meaning people pass these fake claims onto others. Break the chain and inform them of the likely ruse.
Better be safe than sorry! Social media is a great way to stay in touch but remember that you are in charge of your own safety online!