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Ask a Tech Geek~~Social Media Safety Part 1

As we stated last time for the next few segments Our Geek will be discussing way to keep us safe online, If you have any questions, at the end of this article is information on how you can contact our Resident Geek.

Social Media Safety

In this day and age it seems like there is always a scam out there and since Covid there have been more phishing email scams.

Over the past year, more people have turned to social media; especially Facebook to help pass the time, keep in touch with family and friends as well as find social outlets.  At the same time scam artists and fraudsters have increased their presence creating opportunities to gain access to individual’s information in unique and unprecedented ways.   Knowing the obvious scams are easy to spot, they have now devised ways for you to share your information. Without realizing you may be giving them an opportunity to harvest your information. One way is to have you or your Facebook friends/family share/copy and paste their posts.

Facebook Page Giveaway Scam.

These scam artists knows that people love Facebook giveaways especially when businesses are being encouraged to use them to increase their Business Brand recognition.  Fraudsters will use the share and like this page giveaway technique to con people.  Here is one that was going around a few weeks ago using a fake Coca-Cola page as their bait.

As you can see they ask you to share it with your friends and then lead you to click a link to validate the entry.  This is a two way scam.  First, they exploit Facebook users to share and comment on the post and liking their page thus giving them creditability. Second, they create a phishing site to gain more information from those who click the link.

Now not all like and share advertisement is a scam, yet there are a few tell when one is. 

  1. Term/phrase” When they use something like: “Everyone person who shares, likes and/or comments will receive the offer.”  With over 2.8 Billion users on Facebook, a company would not take the risk of spending that much money for promotional items. Even if just .5% of the users participate that is roughly 14 million participants with a minimum of $20 for each prize. The company would be giving away close to $300 million. However for a scam artist that is a potential of 14 million marks (or people) to scam.
  2. Links for verification required: In other segments we talked about phishing links.  These links will not only be found in emails but also found in Facebook post especially those trying to give something away that is too good to be true.
  3. Old Company but Brand New Page.  The Coca Cola page (Example above) was created on March 5th 2021.  A company that has a social media presence for several years never starts a new page to promote themselves or a giveaway. They would use their verified Facebook page.  So check out the page before you like, share, or comment on it. Scroll through and find out how many post are old, check out their ABOUT section to see if the information aligns with the true company.
  4. Use a Gimmick/promotion to catch your eye.   The Coca-Cola one was its 125 anniversary, however with a quick Google search will reveal that their anniversary was over 10 years ago.  Use Google or another search engine to find out if what they are saying it true. Just and easy copy and paste in the engine will tell you all need to know.

Copy and Paste Scheme:

Though out the last year copy and paste Social Media posts have been circulating like crazy, especially ones that entice you to share information about you.  Realizing the need to have social interaction and engaging people to get to know one another Copy and Paste posts that look like simple fun have dangerous repercussions since you give very personal information out on your page.  This can led someone to figure out passwords or your security questions.

Here is a good example and one that not only insurance companies but also police are warning people about.

Many of us use passwords and even security questions that relate to our lives since they are easier to remember. We should guard our personal information as we would our possessions.  Our personal information is our greatest asset. It is the keys on a ring that can open many of the digital gateways we use.  (Bank Accounts, Credit Cards, health information, communications, social media accounts etc.)

Before you do that fun copy and paste posts make sure that you are not exposing too much of yourself in it; or before you share that next post about receiving something for free make sure it not fake page looking to farm/harvest your information.

Remember just because a friend or family member is posting it does not mean it is always safe.   

If you have a question you would like to have answered. Here are three ways you can ask.

  1. Leave a comment on this post,
  2. Use our  Send a Message page
  3. Email our Geek at techgeek@wallaceburgadultactivitycentre.ca

Till next time stay safe, stay healthy and most of all stay positive.

Your Resident Geek.

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