With over one billion people connected to Facebook, we have to assume that many of them are criminals. (Criminals are people with friends too!) But the criminals we need to be concerned about are the ones who create all kinds of scams designed to do everything from getting us to open our wallets to clicking links so we enter our personal information that lets them infect our devices.
Phishing: Emails coming into your inbox right now may in fact be coming from Facebook because by default, you allow that contact in your notifications settings. The problem is that at any time, scammers can duplicate these same emails and you may never know what's real and what's fake.
- Never click links in Facebook emails. Instead, simply log in via your favorites menu or use a password manager. Anything you need to do is right there in your notifications menu.
- Turn off email notifications. Do you really need 20 emails a day telling you that someone just liked or commented on what you posted? Seriously? Go feed the homeless if you have that much time on your hands.
- Stay out of your spam folders. Most internet service providers and email providers to a pretty good job of filtering out spam and phishing emails. But if you go into spam and start clicking away, you'll get yourself in trouble.
- Don't mindlessly click links simply because you need to know what they're going to show you. Be conscious about scams and fraud, and know scammers are paying attention.
- Keep your browsers up to date, as well as your antivirus, antispyware, antiphishing and a firewall.
- Set up encryption on your home or office router. At a minimum, use WPA or WPA2 encryption to secure your data.
- Use a VPN (virtual private network) such as Hotspot Shield VPN that locks down and encrypts your wireless communications.