Have you ever encountered a vehement or profanatory post from a friend or a relative on Facebook? And what makes it weird is because you’ve never known that person to talk or curse like that, especially in public. A post like this makes the particular Facebook account a candidate for phishing scams, which are spreading like wildfire on the Internet. If you notice a post that has a lot of spelling and grammar errors, lots of profane words, and sometimes a link, don’t be ever so trusting with your security software and click on the link. That is simply an easy way for cybercriminals to to either infect your computer with malware or direct you to a fraudulent site to steal information from you.

Phishing for login credentials is simply one of the many ways hackers do in order to fool users. Other Facebook attacks can simply be avoided by properly configuring your privacy settings, though there’s no guarantee that you’ll be completely protected by it. You may get lucky if you have an antiphishing expert like Norton that has the ability to recognize and block fraudulent pages. But, what if your security software unfortunately doesn’t include antiphishing or if it doesn’t recognize the type of fraud that is attacking you at the moment? At that point, your only weapon is your gut-feel and wits to keep you safe from these criminals. So how do you recover and protect yourself from being tricked again in giving away your private and important information?

If something like this happens to you, don’t waste any more time and report the incident to Facebook immediately. You can refer to the guidelines on how to post a detailed report and how to remove the post from your timeline here. It is recommended that you do both actions as soon as you realize that you’ve been a victim of a phishing scam.

Next thing you should do is change your Facebook password. Make sure to create a stronger password this time to protect your account from simple-password guessing attacks. Keep in mind that a phishing scam can decrypt a strong password just as easily as a weak one, so think of a password that is really complicated but something that you can still remember. If in case you’re someone whose forgetful, make sure to write it down someplace else for quick reference.

Also, let your friends and relatives know about the incident. Provide them enough warning and information about the possibilities that their account or any personal information may be hacked as well should they click on a poison link associated with that certain phishing post. Remind them to verify from the person the validity of the link before clicking any links.

You may want to install a security app specifically designed for Facebook. Bitdefender’s Safego lets you identify and block harmful links on your Facebook wall, regardless of how valid they seem to look. Another app is Secure.me that does the same job and also helps with security settings, warns about risky Facebook apps, and more. Both security apps are free, and since they install as Facebook apps, they can help protect you regardless of the device that you use to log in and use Facebook on.

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This entry was posted by Staff Writer on Saturday, July 19, 2014 at 8:23:19 PM and is filed under Computer Security & Data Protection.

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