With over 2 billion monthly active users worldwide, the Facebook community offers hackers an enormous opportunity to wreak havoc on people’s accounts. And with the level of ignorance on these Facebook streets on how to keep accounts safe, it is easy to fall victim to miscreants on the platform.
Look, there are several things you can do to protect your account, and one of the very easy ones is choosing your friends carefully.
If you wish to keep your Facebook account safe from hacking attacks, consider the following five points before accepting any friend request:
1 – How old is the account? I recommend ignoring friend requests from accounts that are created within a week or less, especially if there is little or no information about the owner of the account. The way Facebook is set up sef, anything less than 4-5 months is a no-go area. Unless it came from someone you know personally and you’re sure they recently opened an account.
If it appears to be someone you know personally, but still in doubt, send the person a private message, and ask a question that you know they (and not a random hacker) should be able to answer. If they cannot answer a question they obviously should know the answer to, it’s pretty obvious that the account is fraudulent. Another way to verify is to simply contact your friend through a phone call to be sure they actually sent you a friend request on Facebook.
2 – What have they been posting? Is it the normal type of posts you are used to seeing from your friend or are they spammy in nature? If they appear spammy, odds are the entire Facebook profile is compromised or just a scam.
Sex and nudity easily get attention, and these hackers know it. Many people lose their discipline at the sight of sex photos or photos revealing the nakedness of a member of the opposite sex, and easily become victims to hackers.
Avoid accepting friend requests from an account that appears to be a sexy lady who just posts plenty of nude photos or links. It’s a common strategy that hackers use. If you value your account, you don’t want to take the risk of finding out what happens if you accept such kind of friend request.
3 – Did the friend request come from a person you’re already friends with? If so, the new friend request was likely sent from a cloned (i.e. fake) account.
There’s a scam making the rounds right now in which scammers are cloning real user accounts, using them to send friend requests to the real account’s existing friends, and then using the fake accounts to scam them in some way.
While some Facebook users open multiple accounts for various reasons on Facebook accounts (even though it’s against Facebook’s Terms of Service), most do not. So, if you receive this kind of friend request, you may also want to confirm from your friend first (I recommend doing it outside Facebook).
4 – What do the photos in the galleries look like? Do they appear to be photos that would be taken in the normal course of life or were they possibly “lifted” from some other place on the Internet such as a stock image site? Be especially wary if the photos tend to be revealing pics of a member of the opposite sex.
5 – Is the account using the name and picture of a public figure? While is isn’t impossible for a public figure to send you a friend request on Facebook, it’s highly unlikely unless, of course, except you’re also a public figure because that’s how legends do.
It’s a common practice for hackers to create accounts using the personal information of certain celebrities or politicians, and then send friend requests randomly to people.
One way to know if the account is authentic is to check for the verification badge (a blue tick beside the username). Most public figures have a verification badge on their accounts. If there is no verification badge, its likely to be fake account.
Your Facebook account is your representation in the virtual world of Facebook. Take it seriously and keep it protected.
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