What are the risks of Facebook? How to recognize and avoid them

How to avoid the dangers of spying, data collection and dissemination of false information on Facebook

Facebook can become a very useful tool to stay in touch with your friends and to find classmates from past years, thus maintaining the bonds created at school. Unfortunately, it’s not all roses and flowers: on Facebook we can also receive viruses, be spied on or suffer a hacker attack, putting our privacy at serious risk.

In this guide we have summarized all kinds of threats you can come across on Facebook, to stay away from to avoid future problems. We will also show you how to recognize the types of threats, so you can think twice before taking any action on an app or page.

READ ALSO -> 10 alternative private social networks to Facebook

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Games and polls app

In recent times, Facebook has made a clean sweep of many malicious applications that steal personal data, which were offered as interactive games or surveys (like “what will you be like in 40 years” or “what soul mate will you meet?”) but who actually stole personal data only, violating all privacy rules; in severe cases they could even provide full access to our profile, without our permission!

Fortunately, it is therefore increasingly difficult to run into this type of content (especially after the case of 2018 where an app was able to collect personal data on Facebook with deception), but if we still find some shares or notifications about games or surveys we don’t want to know about, we can deactivate them by clicking on the three dots of the notification and using the voice Disable notifications from this page / app. If instead the app appears in the news stream, simply click on the three dots at the top right of the post and use the entries Stop following the app, Hide app notifications e Report app.

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If you have happened to click on a strange link that appeared on Facebook, or if you have accidentally allowed an application that appeared to be malicious, proceed as follows to revoke access and protect your account. Click the down arrow button at the top right, then open the Settings and in the right column go up Games and websites. Press on Show All, Select the suspicious applications and then press the button Remove. on the X on the right to remove it completely. The application will now no longer be able to collect data from your profile.

If we have never done this we recommend that you remove applications on Facebook, so as to be much safer.

Collection of Likes and Fake News

Unfortunately, this is still a very recurring threat on Facebook: a page, a site or a single character requires you to post I like on a photo, on a video or on any shared content, with the aim of spreading a bogus message (with the addition of a little “psychological pressure”, since it is often seasoned with phrases such as “it will soon be censored or obscured by the strong powers “) or to simply collect a good amount of personal data from unsuspecting people who click on the fateful Like button. Fortunately, Facebook is now able to detect most of the sites and pages that spread “Fake News”, obscuring them from the stream of all users, but it is not enough.

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The most experienced in this type of threat, called “engagement bait”, use i I like as real “votes” within a prize competition: the winner will be offered a meeting or a phone call with an important person, often a politician of national fame. Obviously, beyond the goodness of the prize (often true), the organizers of the “prize contest” will take the trouble to collect all the data of users who leave the Like, including information such as political orientation, religion, personal interests and place of birth (all very useful information for carrying out marketing campaigns and tailor-made political campaigns).

The less experienced in this type of threat will instead limit themselves to collect the Likes on protective religious photographs, on animals to be saved, on children with serious illnesses (with really ridiculous phrases such as “only with 1 million Likes it will heal”) and so on, with the aim of reselling these Likes to marketing agencies or sites in search fast visibility (pay to get the likes of another page or another site).

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Defend yourself from these privacy threats you can, just ignore any kind of post, video or image in which you are force user to like and share and on news check, from reliable sources, avoiding i sites and pages that spread fake news.

Clickjacking

Clickjacking is one of the oldest tools, but still one of the most used by scammers on the Internet. The deception is all based on psychology and exploits a lot of people’s curiosity to delve into sensational news. By clicking on a link that appears on the home page, you end up activating the infectious mechanism that can bring the virus to your computer or, for example, activating the webcam to spy on us. Practically you post something to attract clicks such as fake and unbelievable news, gossip, news regarding the death of a famous person, links with the words “Exclusive” or “Breaking News”, competitions and games where you can easily win, videos about funny or sensational things.

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Clicking on the malicious link downloads the malware or you end up on an infected web page. Very often they are also pages of contests and games in which an easy win is promised, where registration is requested and, therefore, the authorization to steal our data.

Recently, one of the ways to steal passwords and accounts on Facebook is to create tagged images of all the friends of the infected person, with a link that promises to know who has visited the profile. by clicking that link, access to the account is lost and a new image is created by tagging all friends, with a rather rapid spread of the virus.

Unknown friendships

It can happen to receive friend request or messages on Messenger from people far from our circle of family and friends, thus presenting themselves as totally unknown people.

Instead of adding without criteria, let’s try to remember if this person is known to us, even in past times: if we can not find any connection, most likely it is a account fake or one of those account bot that bind to the profile in order to quickly access the data hidden by the Facebook privacy filters (if we have set the social network to show all data only to friends).
It is currently very dangerous to add people we don’t know: to keep our privacy safe, it is worth adding only people you trust or have known for a long time, ignoring friend requests from people we’ve never seen in the face.

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Profile hacked

If we are no longer able to access our Facebook profile or we see messages or photos appear in the stream that do not belong to us, almost certainly we have been hacked. In this case it is better to act quickly before the situation worsens further: if we still have access to our profile (simple password hacker) we go to the Facebook settings (top right menu -> Settings and privacy -> Settings), let’s go to the menu Security and access and press the button Edit next to the item change Password.

After changing the password, let’s go to the same window and press the button Show more (in the section Where are you logged in) and press on Log out of all sessions.

To make the account really safe, always in the same window, click on Edit next to the item Save your login information and on the button Edit next to the item Use two-factor authentication, so as to always be notified when someone tries to access from unusual locations or from new devices and, in addition to username and password, we will also have to provide a personal authentication code (provided via SMS, email or via the authentication app).

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Account blocked

If the attacker has already changed the password e we are now locked out of our Facebook account all that remains is to contact Facebook support and explain the situation, as also seen in our guide for Facebook accounts disabled or blocked.

Let’s remember have our personal documents at hand (identity card and tax code), so as to be able to prove that you are the real owners of the stolen page. On the same topic we can read our article on how to avoid having your Facebook password stolen.

Conclusions

Whenever a site asks to log in via Facebook account, we must always be careful and see what information we are going to make visible for those who manage that site. In most cases it will be just your name and email address, in other cases, however, it may be all the profile information that will be used by that site for commercial or electoral or advertising purposes.

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A golden rule for keeping your PC safe is update the operating system and browser to surf the internet; many applications exploit browser or operating system vulnerabilities to access private information.

To increase security when we browse the Internet we always keep Windows up to date and, if we use a smartphone, we always keep the apps up to date.

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