Spammers, Hackers, Identity Thieves! Oh, My!

Spammers may use memes to gain access to data
Spammers, hackers, and identity thieves may use memes and fake posts to gain access to data. Watch for grammar and spelling errors. Click on the source before engaging.

Facebook Privacy Scares

In light of the recent “shock” of learning Facebook has been conducting research on our emotions via manipulation of our feeds, I pondered the naiveté of social media users. Facebook will sometimes overstep boundaries, but users are far more at fault for not paying closer attention to their own ability to control privacy.

There are a plethora of suspicious memes circulating on personal profiles and more than likely, produced by spammers, hackers, and identity thieves seeking virality for access to account information.

What is a suspicious meme?

Inasmuch as we love cats in cute or awkward poses, babies quoting “wisdom,” and soulful prayers for the good will of all, too many memes have the tell-tale signs of untrustworthy sources trying to use viral potential to gain online presence and account information access.

Grammar nazis might be safest yet!

Much like spam comments on a blog, if a meme is spotted with spelling or grammatical errors, that’s a big hint the source might be untrustworthy.

And tacky as it is, spammers may prey on those with deep religious convictions using a guilt factor produced via a “share if you believe” caption. Add memes that can play on your conscience for motivation to share and like: spirituality, causes, empathy, lost children or elderly (with a quick search revealing they were found years ago), even pet affinities…

Online Wisdom: Consider the source…

Example: Your Facebook friend falls for it, shares, now it appears in your feed. If you don’t comment and share as well, it might appear you are “not one of the faithful,” or unsympathetic, so you comment and share… and on it goes. Same with humorous or quote memes. Seemingly innocent, but potentially providing access to spammers and hackers, too.

Before you like or share… click on the source. Is the profile one with whom you would normally associate? In the “real” world, would you blindly trust the integrity and authenticity of every stranger?

Typically, few social media fans check the origin of memes, the memes go viral, and to the victors (spammers, hackers, identity thieves) go the spoils.

Really tacky.

But really effective.

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