So, last week we left-off talking about having a “training period” with your teens on Facebook. One of the most important things you can do is to teach them to avoid clicking on a link unless they are 100% sure it is legitimate.

There are spyware pictures and videos posted everyday on Facebook that have shocking headlines or comments to entice you to click on them. Once you do, the spammer now has access to your account and reposts the link to all your friends as you…and so it spreads. These links usually look suspicious and end with things like .cn or other two-letter endings.
Some of these malicious links that I have seen include a link that claims to have a video of Osama Bin Ladin being captured (see pic above), or a link to a video that says something like “You’ll never believe what this dad saw on his daughter’s Facebook” or “Such-and-Such celebrity caught on shocking video.” There are also all the claims of free stuff if you click certain links. Another popular ploy you will see a lot is “you can see who looks at your Facebook page” or “Click here to find out who has deleted you.” According to Facebook, this is impossible and there will never be an app that lets you circumvent their system to see who looks at your page, or who has deleted you, etc.

In short, if it sounds too good to be true, or if it seems too shocking, it’s probably a scam. Do not click on it and report it immediately to Facebook by hovering over the right corner of the post and when the arrow appears with the drop-down menu, click “report as spam.”

Once you click on these malicious links, the spammer now reposts the same link as YOU. This is important to know because this is how these bad links get perpetuated. Even my pastor-friend got hacked and had a pornographic picture posted with the comment “OMG! You’ll never believe this video!”. Clearly his friends knew it was a fraud and warned him to change his password immediately and we reported it to Facebook, but teens are pretty gullible and their curiosity will get the best of them if they don’t know what they are dealing with. If you are going to help your teen navigate safely through Facebook, then you must help them understand the fraud that is out there, what the risks are, and how to avoid it and then report it.

Tomorrow we will discuss issues with friending and fraud that takes place there, too!
Hang in there, moms! I know this can be overwhelming, but your kids are worth it.