Facebook Security: How to avoid spam, viruses
SALT LAKE CITY – Facebook has been a breeding ground for viral content in the last several days displaying graphic and violent pictures and videos on unsuspecting users’ walls and news feeds.
Spam and viruses are nothing new to Facebook. However, this time around the content was more graphic than ever and effected users at more alarming rates than ever before.
According to ZDnet.com, a technology website, a statement was released Tuesday saying, “Facebook is aware of these reports and we are investigating the issue.”
The Facebook spokesperson continued to say “Protecting the people who use Facebook from spam and malicious content is a top priority for us and we are always working to improve our systems to isolate and remove material that violates our terms. We have recently experienced an increase in reports and we are investigating and addressing the issue.”
According to Facebook’s Security Page, there are several viruses to be on the lookout for. Koobface is one of the most common forms seen on the social-networking site. It is a computer worm that spreads on Facebook by sending messages and making wall posts on behalf of the infected user. These messages contain a link, which will prompt you to download and install a newer version of Adobe Flash player. However, this download actually contains a malicious file that, once opened, uses your Facebook account to continue posting this malicious link on your behalf, thus spreading the virus. Right now, only Windows users can be infected by Koobface.
Facebook’s security page also points out the many “phishing” sites that make their way around to users.
“When criminals gain access to a Facebook account, they usually post spammy comments on friends’ walls, or send spammy messages through inbox or chat,” according to the security page. “These messages ask you to click on a link and often try to entice you by claiming there’s a new photo or video of you somewhere on the Internet that you need to check out. The link then takes you to a phishing site that asks you to enter your login information, or a malware site that prompts you to download malicious software.”
The issue brings up pressing questions of security settings and Internet safety. What can users do to avoid getting hacked or infected with a virus on Facebook?
1. Change your password.Changing your password is easy and users should change theirs regularly. Go to your account settings from the arrow drop down at the top right of your home page. Click the “edit” button next to “password” and make your changes. Don’t forget to “save.”
2. Make sure you are browsing Facebook using a secured server or HTTPS. Just as online banking and shopping websites encrypt your information, Facebook has the ability to do so as well. Many applications and games accessed through Facebook will ask you to turn off your secured browsing, just remember to turn it back on. To change this setting, once again go to your account settings, and click on the “security” tab on the left hand menu. Select the edit button next to “secured browsing” and then check the box for the HTTPS setting.
3. Never click on pictures, videos, or links that seem suspicious or too good to be true. Many viruses will come to users in a chat message, private message, or wall post and often times from a Facebook friend, but do not click on it until you verify from that friend who sent it to you.
So what do you do if you see one of these suspicious pictures or links?
1. Report it. If you see a post you believe to be spam or viral, hover your mouse over the right side of the post and a drop down arrow will appear. Once you click the arrow, several options appear including “report as spam”. Inside a chat message or private message, the same reporting options are available.
2. Delete the post. If you see a post on your wall, hover to the right side of the post and you will see a tool icon appear. Click it for options to delete the post.
3. Remove unused applications. Clean out your Facebook applications and delete what you are not using. To do this, go to your “account settings,” on the left side menu select “apps,” Click “edit” next to any application you do not trust or actively use and select “remove app.”
Facebook can be a fun and enjoyable environment but if you realize you have been infected with a virus, take the precautions listed above as well as perform a virus scan on your computer. ZDnet.com suggests using Microsoft Security Essentials or a free alternative Avast.
5 accounts to stay ‘in the know’ – Nov. 10, 2011
SALT LAKE CITY — The news has been around since the beginning of time.
It circulated by word-of-mouth, later by handwritten newsletters and pamphlets in early European countries, and then appearing in the 17th century in a similar form of what we now know as the modern newspaper, says Phil Barber of HistoricPages.com.
The Internet has made newspapers more accessible in recent years as well as the effects of social media which has made it possible for the news to find you.
Twitter has become a huge platform for the media to release stories and information faster and with a stronger reach to readers. With so much news and information available to the masses, which are the best to follow on Twitter?
Join the more than 1 million fans following America’s No. 1 Cable News Network.
Fox News is one of the best American news sources available. They not only tweet the news, national and international, but you will also find news from every department at Fox: weather, business, sports, health, etc.
News, discussion and a behind-the-scenes look at the process from The Associated Press. Managed 24/7 by a team of editors based in NY:http://apne.ws/apstaff
If international news is more your thing, then The Associated Press is of course the most widely used and respected news sources available. Stay on top of breaking news from around the world with the AP.
WebMD provides valuable health information, tools for managing your health, and support to those who seek information.
WebMD is a great website to research illness and disease but following them on Twitter will introduce you to a whole new side of medicine: the stuff you really want to know, like “The history of chocolate“ and “Reasons why you might be forgetful“.
For the latest news in social media, Internet, tech and gadgets, Mashable is your leading source for information. Packed full of information from the latest Apple iPhone news to videos from South Park’s OWS episode to finding jobs in social media, it’s all here.
The official E! Online Twitter for all your celebrity gossip and entertainment news, managed by@JenCady!
Celebrity gossip and entertainment news is a guilty pleasure for some and E! Online News tweets the best tidbits in Tinseltown.
There are so many news and information sources available online, depending on your interests you may like something a little more specific. Try some of these:
Weird News: @TSGNews
We at KSL like to think we are one of the best out there as well.
You can follow us at @KSLcom for Utah’s best news, sports, weather, and classifieds.
5 must follows: From silly to significant – November 4, 2011
The site is used widely by the press, celebrities, TV shows, brands and musicians to promote, communicate and share information with the masses. With so much information available, who do you follow? Aside from friends and family, here are a few fun account suggestions.
“My dad is 81 years old. I’m teaching him how to use the Internet. I told him Twitter was how to search things on Google. These tweets are what he’s searching.“
Whether this is real or not, it’s still funny! Searches for “Fourth of July free haircut for veterans Indianapolis,” “DMV eye exam answers” and “squirrel poison” bring forth visions of Grandpa trying to figure out this whole “computer thing.”
“Everything iPhone, #teamiphone — Have tips? Have problems & need help? Email iPhoneTeam.Twitter@gmail and I’ll post answers here too. “
For all you iPhone lovers out there, these guys are awesome! They share tips, tricks, updates, apps — everything you ever wanted to know and then some.
“Mommy’s little helper”
This is a great follow for all the parents out there. It focuses on babies, toddlers, kids and parents, with a touch of style, fun and creativity. From crafts to the latest “mom” styles to parenting tips — it’s got it all!
“All over the place — Tuesdays @ 9PM E/P on@TravelChannel.
Andrew Zimmern is the most influential chef on Twitter, according to Klout.com, and is world-famous for traveling the world and eating the most bizarre foods he can find. What you may not know is Zimmern is a chef, writer, author, teacher and award-winning TV personality, so what will you get from following his tweets? — fascination, disgust and intrigue, as well as recipe ideas and great restaurant recommendations.
“The voice of the people. Sorry, people.”
Whether you watch his show or not, Conan O’Brien is funny. His tweets are random, sometimes relevant, sometimes political, but always hilarious!
If you’re still not sure who to follow, Twitter can guide you based on your interests. Just click on “Who To Follow” at the top of your Twitter page then click “Browse Interests” and select from news, sports, funny, business, food, entertainment, family, etc., and you will find your favorites in no time.
5 surefire ways to lose friends on Facebook
November 1, 2011
Nov. 17 is known as National Unfriend Day, made famous last year by late night talk show host, Jimmy Kimmel. Here is a list of some things you can avoid doing on Facebook to dodge the threat of being unfriended.
Nobody wants to hear repeatedly that you’re broke, lonely, sick, tired, out of shape, hate your job, hate your ex, or just hate life in general. It’s not that we don’t care, but you’re bringing us down, and we don’t like that feeling either.
2. Inappropriate language or behavior
Is it really necessary to use that much profanity or to post comments to deliberately upset people? Profanity, pictures of scantily clad women or your beer binging party last night is a sure fire way to get the ax … on Facebook and at work if you’re friends with your boss.
3. Politics and religion
This applies in real world social etiquette, so of course it applies online, however many people seem to forget this rule. Facebook is not the place to blast your political views; it gets old, especially when you want to argue about it. Same goes for religion — just don’t go there.
4. Posting too much
If you are one of those people who post about every little aspect in your life, you may be losing some friends soon. We don’t need to know what you just ate or that your cat coughed up a hairball. And if you are one of those people who post about every play in the football game, please stop, we have professional commentators for that.
5. Trying to sell something
Many people use their Facebook profile to sell their products or services. There is a proper amount of “selling” you can do to not be annoying, otherwise take it to your Facebook business page and leave it there, but please don’t be “that guy.”
Some honorable mentions are posting songs or song lyrics, bragging about your wonderful husband/wife/kids/job/car/house/pets/etc, sending too many event or game invites, and spam reposts — you know, repost this if yadda yadda yadda.
If you’re not sure if you are one of the people listed above, try this experiment: Before you post something on Facebook, imagine yourself in a room with 30 randomly picked Facebook friends. Would you say to them in real life what you are about to post? If you’re still not sure if what you’re posting is annoying, just ask your loyal Facebook friends.
Facebook Etiquette Do’s and Dont’s – August 10, 2011
Facebook. The largest social networking site and just about everyone has a profile page. Your mom, your boss, church leader, kids, grandkids, significant others, and so on. Many employers are looking at Facebook profiles to check up on their employees, and does your mom really need to know about the drunken binge you went on last weekend? You may also be giving away vital information to your next stalker, identity thief, or burglar. Many of us use it for business purposes in addition to personal use, so there are just some things you don’t want to ever do on Facebook.
1) DON’T give away vital information. Leave off your birth year on your birth date, don’t tell people you are going on a 10 day Caribbean cruise, and no need to put your address on your profile.
2) DON’T do anything to get yourself fired. Posting when “sick”, cursing out your boss or co-workers, negative posts about your company, or uploading inappropriate images.
3) DON’T spam. You can mix personal and business a little bit, but don’t post constant business info on your personal page and vice versa. Also, don’t send chain letter posts or anything that makes me feel guilty if I don’t post it as my status for a day.
4) DON’T forget about your business page. Post at least once a day with good content, pictures or video. Make sure to have good grammar, no profanity, and thank all of your fans.
5) DON’T have 2 profile pages. Facebook doesn’t allow it and nobody likes it. Why create more work for yourself by updating two profiles and trying to keep your family and co-workers away from your party friends? Also, DON’T have a profile page as your business page. Again, Facebook doesn’t allow it and the business pages are set up with analytics and other benefits made for business.
1) DO check your security settings and account settings. You can hide your friends’ lists from everyone or just certain people or block particular people all together. This is where you will change your password, set your notification settings, and determine who can see what on your profile.
2) DO friend request your kids and make sure you have their password as well. Facebook can be a scary place for an unsuspecting 14 year old, check up on them.
3) DO have a recent picture of yourself. Not a picture of your kids, your dog, your house, your favorite cartoon character, or even a group photo. People want to see YOU.
4) DO friend anyone you have more than 25 mutual friends with and live in the same area ONLY IF you are using Facebook for business. Social networking is what Facebook is all about, so it’s ok to friend new people, just make sure it’s for the right reason.
5) Do have fun and explore, play with apps, make new friends, engage people, search for businesses you like, read the news, and learn more about the social world around you.
What is Google+ and how will it affect Facebook and Twitter – July 23, 2011
SALT LAKE CITY — First, there was MySpace, then Facebook and then Twitter.
Now Google has joined the never-ending social networking arena with its by-invitation-only release of Google+ on June 28. With more and more “Google invites” being allowed to the general public, people are clamoring to see what all the buzz is about.
The big questions looming in the social world are: Will Google+ take down the social network giant Facebook? The question is referring to the ill demise of MySpace when Facebook took off, and, second, is there room for another social networking giant?
Ask any loyal Twitter user and the answer is yes.
I waste too much time on Facebook anyways, why would I want to start a new one?
Google+ has taken the basic formats of Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, and Skype, along with every major Google product available and combined them into one big social network. While integrating all of Google’s products into one easily shared toolbar, the website also offers many other features not available on Facebook and Twitter.
Group video chat or “Hangouts” have been very popular for meeting new people, networking, business meetings, and even question and answer sessions with social media industry leaders.
Google+ allows users to put their friends and followers into subdivided “circles.” Similar to a list in Facebook or Twitter, these circles can be organized in a way so that you can share your posts to particular circles or to the public.
“Sparks” are featured interests a user can search for and choose, such as fashion, gardening or sports. Once chosen, users can stream the latest news and articles found on the Web.
While most believe Google+ will replace Facebook, many see the new site instead putting pressure on Twitter.
Tom Anderson, creator of MySpace and avid Google “pluser” said in an article at Mashable.com,“Google+ does seem like it could take a bite out of Twitter — it seems to let you do what Twitter does (but maybe better), and it definitely lets you communicate with your followers in a more normal fashion (not stuck with 140 characters DMs).”
Many Facebook users vow to be loyal and show no real interest in Google+.
“I waste too much time on Facebook anyways, why would I want to start a new one?”, Facebook user Cindy Dickens said.
Bill Hudson, another Facebook user, said, “It’s not very social yet. Most of the people I know aren’t there. Until I can connect with friends and family it’s useless.”
Others like the idea of having their Facebook friends separate from their Google+ friends.
Many businesses are excited to reach more people with another powerful social network.
“The conversations are fascinating and the way ideas are shared makes it a little more transparent than Facebook and more easily tracked/followed than Twitter,” said Scott Monty, head of social media for Ford Motor Company.
Ford is one of the few companies allowed on Google+ to have a profile page while the site is in beta. Google has plans to integrate business pages on Google+ similar to Facebook but not much information has been released on what features will be available.
Google+ is still in its infancy and many changes and additions are to be expected. Much is to be determined about the social networking site, however after only four weeks and not yet open to the general public, Google+ has more than 20 million users.
Can Google’s +1 rival Facebook in the social media realm? – June 14, 2011
By Chanda Gunter, ksl.com Contributor
SALT LAKE CITY — In March, Google announced its new +1 feature that will rival Facebook’s “like” button on most websites.
This month, the feature was recently launched in beta form and has sparked many conversations concerning its staying power. The idea behind the +1 button is to have users rely on their friends’ recommendations, so the question is just that, will they rely on recommendations while searching Google?
Here is how +1 works:
1. While searching information on Google, click the +1 button of the site you preferred.
2. A user’s friends will see this recommendation the next time they are searching something similar and will help lead them in the right direction.
3. The more friends a user has that clicks +1, the more recommendations he or she has.
Google is known for its outstanding search engine results andalgorithm measuring techniques, but it’s not known for its social ability like Facebook and Twitter.
With the implementation of the +1 button, Google hopes to change that and in a sense, compete with Facebook. What it really boils down to is advertising dollars. Both Google and Facebook make most of their money through advertisements.
While Facebook can offer advertisers a more targeted audience because of its ability to capture important data such as age, location, gender and lifestyle, Google must now compete for that ability if it wants those same advertising dollars.
Google’s answer to the lack of social ability is Google Buzz and Google Profiles. Introduced over a year ago and implemented into any Gmail user account, a profile can be set up and information shared over the Web much like Facebook and Twitter. A Google account is required to take advantage of the new +1 feature and will likely increase the amount of Google Buzz users.
While there are some pluses to the new +1 feature, there seem to be more negatives and many questions asked.
On the plus side:
1. Facebook needs competition and who better to compete than Google, right?
2. Google is constantly tweaking its algorithm for improved search results, and the social-sharing aspect of user feedback could change the way we receive our information.
3. Search results could become more personal and relevant to the end user
On the negative side:
1. A Gmail account in needed to participate
2. Not all friends can see the +1 feature as they can on Facebook or Twitter. When someone “likes” an article it posts to his or her wall and allows for comments. Google’s +1 is only seen by Google friends and/or friends who happen to be searching the same thing.
3. There is currently no mobile version of the +1 feature
4. Facebook is already a proven marketing system and is already recognizable
5. A Google Buzz account can be connected with Twitter, Flickr, Picasa, and a user’s Gmail contacts but is not available to connect with Facebook, YouTube, LinkedIn or Yelp.
For now, the +1 feature is still in experimental phase and as a Gmail user, it needs to be opted in to use it. It has a lot of room to grow and will no doubt increase the number of Google account users, but the question still remains” Will Google compete with Facebook? Possibly down the road, but with Facebook’s 500 million-plus users, Google has a long road to travel
How to use Facebook securely – June 6, 2011
If it looks to good to be true it probably is.
I am amazed at how many viruses are passed around Facebook on a daily basis and most are without the users even becoming aware that they have passed them on. Although new viruses pop up every day and there are no guarantees, I am going to show you what to stay away from on Facebook and how to protect yourself better. Ready?
STAY AWAY FROM THESE OR ANY VARIATIONS OF THEM!
1) Olive Garden is NOT giving away free food.
2) You can NOT see who is viewing your profile
3) Nobody actually tagged you in those pictures
4) You are NOT in some video at a concert
5) You can NOT get a free iPad or iPhone
6) Teenage girls are NOT committing suicide because they were embarrassed by their parents
7) “How embarrassing, you have to see this” is NOT what you think it is.
WHAT CAN YOU DO?
1) Browse Facebook using a secured browser. Go to Account —> Account settings —> Account Security —> click the box that allows you to browse Facebook in a secure browser. Now you will be using an HTTPS instead of HTTP which is what banks and other secured sites use.
2) Get rid of unused or unwanted Facebook applications. You will be amazed at how many apps you have downloaded over time and how many people have access to your info. Go to Account —>Privacy Settings—>Apps & Websites (at the bottom left) —>Edit your settings —>Apps you use —> Edit settings, and then DELETE anything suspicious, unused, or unwanted. Check this periodically as you may download an application nit realizing you did.
3) Block the applications. Go to Account —>Privacy Settings —> Block Lists —> Edit Your Lists —> Scroll down to Blocked Apps
4) If a chat message pops up from a “friend” asking you to click on a link and it seems suspicious, click the “blue report” button at the top of the chat box.
5) Don’t click on suspicious posts from friends, pictures or videos
6) Don’t watch any video until someone else has commented on it (you will know if it is real or not)
7) Change your password often
8) Remember…if it seems too good to be true, don’t click on it.
Visit Chanda’s facebook page: The Social Network Site
Google tips, getting your business noticed- May 10, 2011
Google. It’s a noun, it’s a verb, and it’s a transitive verb. Google is a beast worth learning to tame but in the world of social media and SEO marketing, Google is what it’s all about. When you’re looking for information most people “Google” it, but most of us don’t scroll down to the bottom of the page and going to page 2 is unheard of. So how do you get your business to the top half of Google and really get noticed?
Be everywhere on the web
If you only have a website then Google can only find your business in one place. However, if you are listed in multiple online directories, and implement social media sites such as Facebook, Twitter, and YouTube, then Google has more places to reach out and grab you. These are called “backlinks” or “inbound links”. The more inbound links to your website, the more likely Google will find you. It is one of the best ways to improve your “Google PR” or “page rank.”
When you Google something, many times you will get directed to a blog, Facebook page or Twitter account. The reason for this is because Google looks for websites with frequent posts. It relates the frequency to updated information, breaking news, ect. When it comes to social media, it’s not just about having a Facebook and Twitter account, it’s about using those accounts to your advantage by posting content daily.
It’s pretty obvious that Google looks for relevant material for what you are searching for, which is why they are as big as they are. When it comes to your website, blog, Facebook, etc. Make sure your content, tag words, and meta tags are relevant to what your customers will be searching for. But also make sure to throw in a few non-relevant words as well. For example, ABC Dentist should have content and tag words such as “dentist, teeth cleaning, x-rays, cosmetic dentistry, dental implants”, etc. but there should also be a few tags like “sonicare, braces, bad breath, and lock jaw”. These type of words can bring a potential customer to your site in a roundabout way because of the content in your site.
Pictures and Video
Google has an entire section for images and a section for video. If you are posting pictures and video to your website, blog, Flickr account, Facebook, and other sites, Google will find it. YouTube is the largest source for video and with its constant updating of new media it is the first site Google will pull videos from. It is a good idea for businesses to have their own YouTube channel with current videos uploaded often to showcase what they do.
Keep in mind these are only a few ways to help you reach the top of Google. Stay on top of the trends in social media, post relative content often to include pictures and video and you should rise to the top in no time.
5 Tips to online marketing – Dec 6, 2010
Marketing is an all-encompassing word that many people confuse for just plain advertising. Marketing has expanded its reaches over the last several years, especially with online marketing. Everyone knows if you are in business you should have a website, but what else is there beyond the obvious? How do you get people to go to your website, and then to your business?
1) Social Networking
Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, Foursquare – it’s all the rage and everyone’s doing it. The great thing about social networking is it’s FREE advertising, plus it reaches a large demographic – ages 25-55.
When using these social networking sites, it’s easy to reach a mass audience with a simple post. When you place something online, say an event or sale, and your friends like it, they will repost it, essentially forwarding it to their friends. The amount of people you can reach through social networking seems endless. By posting one to three times a day, you’ve increased your chances of reaching more people.
2) Search Engine Optimization (SEO)
This is a term being thrown around a lot more recently and if you don’t know what it is, find a web developer who does. SEO is the process of improving the visibility of a web page in a search engine and improves the chances of a site being found by the search engine. This is where a great web developer, not necessarily a web designer, comes in. Your web developer can code your HTML to improve your SEO, therefore getting you placed higher in the search listings. The higher up you are in a search, the more people will visit your site. Other things can help your site, having editorial content that uses frequently used words, adding video to your site and having other websites that link to your site, i.e. Facebook. To really improve your SEO, you may need help from both a great web developer, as well as a marketer experienced in this.
3) Mobile Marketing
With all the smart phones out there, especially the iPhone and Droid, consumers are walking around with computers in the palm of their hands. Larger businesses have created mobile apps and mobile websites for these phones, but there is still hope for small businesses in this market. Texting and mobile email are becoming more popular and is a very effective marketing tool. Establish a mobile database by advertising a free offer or contest and soon you will be able to access hundreds or thousands of your customers by texting your special offer or event that day, week or month.
4) Podcasting or Online Radio
The new trend in radio is online and, let’s face it; most of us spend more time sitting at a computer than in our car listening to the radio. Websites like www.blogtalkradio.com allow listeners to choose from an infinite number of talk radio subject matter, as well as host your own talk radio show. Since online radio can be integrated with most social networking sites, businesses are using it is as another great tool to extend their brand on the web.
5) Online Video
If you want something to go viral (a self- replicating form of marketing spread through social media), then video is the fastest way to accomplish that. People like to be entertained, whether it’s funny, uplifting, or even shocking. Creating a video and posting it on Facebook, your business website, blog, or YouTube, can also help get your site SEO to the top of Google’s list. A video can be produced very inexpensively, just make sure the video is memorable, entertaining, interactive and accessible.