Social media is one of the quickest and most direct ways to share information with the people we know. Millions of people log on to their social media accounts everyday to inform users in their social networks about the new developments in their lives. Pictures, videos, news, opinions and so much more can be shared in a moment’s notice. These forums allow us to connect with anybody, regardless of time or geographic location. Their capability of making the Internet a more personalized domain has revolutionized the way we use the web. But with that accessibility comes the potential for people to be taken advantage of.
More Common Than You Think
It has been speculated that 1 out of 5 Facebook users has been affected by malware that was designed to steal your personal information, infiltrate your social network and implant a virus in your computer or mobile internet device. This is a very concerning problem considering that there are over 500 million Facebook users in the world. This is according to a study conducted by BitDefender, a company that developed an application called Safego to better protect users from harmful malware.
The most common way of spreading malware is through user news feeds. A user will see a link posted in their news feed from another user in their social network that will entice them to click it. Once the link is clicked, the malware will take over the user’s profile and spread through every member of the user’s social network by posting a link that will then be viewable by the newly infected user’s entire social network. Since this type of social media forum was built on the foundation of sharing information from user to user, the potential for the malware spreading is very high, since its initial contact comes from somebody you know, instead of some random source.
How to Avoid Malware
Facebook users need to be more careful about which links they click on. Before selecting a link that appears in your news feed, ask yourself one question: “Is the title of the link something that matches the personality of the user that posted it?” If you’re posting links, make sure you personalize the comment that appears before it so that the people in your social network can identify that it is actually you posting it. The more you identify your posts and be more selective about which links you click on in your news feed, the less likely it will be for this virus to spread any further.