When you go on Facebook, you’re looking to like your friends’ photos, comment on our Winning Member Wednesday question, and share a witty status update. You’re definitely not expecting to encounter anything malicious. Unfortunately, as wonderful as social media is for connecting with the people and brands you love, it’s not immune to the malware and viruses that lurk out in cyberspace.
The New York Times recently shared news about a Trojan horse program called Zeus that infects a computer via malicious links on Facebook fan pages. Malware programs such as this seek to steal your password to various online accounts, including your bank account, and may even post fake web pages to gain even more of your personal information. Fortunately, there are some simple steps you can take to protect yourself from security threats on social media.
1. Check out Facebook Security to receive the latest updates on protecting your information.
If you “like” the Facebook Security page, you’ll get relevant updates on protecting your information right in your news feed.
2. Create secure passwords and change them periodically.
Don’t use the same password for all of your online accounts—social media, email, Online Banking, etc. Use a variety of letters and numbers to make it harder for hackers to crack, and update your passwords on a regular basis.
Facebook’s Chief Security Officer recently shared additional password recommendations here.
3. Be careful clicking on links; type in the web address if you’re suspicious.
Use caution when clicking on links from people or pages you don’t know. Even if the link goes to a site you’re familiar with, it can be possible that a hacker has rerouted the link to a fraudulent page. If you’re suspicious, type the address of the page you’re looking for into your browser. Keep this advice in mind when clicking on links in emails as well.
4. Use antivirus tools.
Antivirus software protects your devices and accounts from cyber threats and alerts you to any potential issues. Facebook has made a wide variety of these services free to the network’s users. You can find them in the Facebook AV Marketplace.
5. Never give out account information or personal data online.
For your security, Consumers will never ask you to provide or verify account information on our social networks. Any message asking you to do so did not originate with us. Please do not respond to the sender. Instead, contact us to report the incident.
6. Report any suspicious account activity immediately.
If, despite these precautions, you find yourself unsure of the security of your account, don’t hesitate to seek help. Facebook’s Help Center provides additional information on the steps you can take to report a hacked account, remove malware, and address other security issues.
If you notice suspicious transactions on your accounts with Consumers, let us know immediately, so that we can take the necessary steps to secure them and dispute the charges. We’re here to help.
Looking for more tips on your money and online security? Follow our Facebook page to keep up with the latest from Consumers. Not finding the answers you’re looking for? Send us a message! We’ll always respond.