Facebook – Don’t click on that link!

We’ve all seen them. Those posts that promise a video of something astonishing. The poster says they ‘can’t believe what happened next’. Well, we know what happens next. People who click the link usually end up with malware on their computer or mobile device.

There are several ways that this scam works. We’ve said for a long time that when you’re inside Facebook itself, you are safe. Once you click something that takes you out of Facebook, you’re on your own. These posts that purport to shock and amaze you are known as ‘click bait’. Some are completely safe, some are very dangerous.

How do you know which ones are safe and which aren’t? You don’t. Our advice is to simply not click on anything that leads out of Facebook. If the post looks interesting, do a search on Google and find an alternative, and safe, link to the information.

Here is an example of click bait:

Photo of Obama
So Obama forgot to salute. So what? Is it really that important to click and see what happened?

If you hover your mouse cursor over the photo and look down on the lower left of your browser, you’ll see that it leads out of Facebook.

Photo of link.
The photo is linked to this site. Once you click it, you’re out of the Facebook site.

If you hover over a few others posts on your newsfeed, you’ll see that most of them the links begin with ‘facebook.com’. These are safe, right? You’re still inside of Facebook’s protective screen.

Photo of Facebook link
This kind of link is totally safe. You’re still inside the Facebook site, just heading to another page.

Lastly, the most dangerous links are those that lead to a page where a video plays for a very short time then stops. The page then tells you that you need a certain flash player to view the video. Quite often the flash player starts to download automatically. Cancel the download immediately if you can. Whatever you do, do NOT click on the file or install it. Right click it, hold down the shift key and choose ‘Delete’. Windows will ask you if you really want to delete this file permanently. Click Yes to delete it forever.

Facebook is fun, we all know that. But it can be dangerous too. Think about what you’re doing when you click on a link. Don’t fall for the click baits and scams that are out there. Use your common sense and you’ll be safe.

That’s it for today, thanks for reading! Comments and questions are welcome but  Likes on our Facebook page get immediate attention.  Here’s the link: Computers Made Simple on Facebook .

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