How to protect yourself from being hit with Pornographic images on your Facebook Newsfeed

A Facebook Attack

Table of Contents

Numerous users across Facebook have been reporting attacks of hardcore Pornographic, Violence and Animal images and videos on their Facebook Newsfeeds.  The thing is, even after people have been warned numerous times about being safe online, the problem still mushrooms.  As one computer expert so rightly mentioned “This has been going on for years now and the hackers are not even creative enough to change the format because it works every time: Lazy hackers and clueless people!”

A recent Facebook scam tags all your friends to explicit pornographic images of celebrities such as Rihanna, Justin Bieber and Miley Cyrus.  Users report that they are seeing their friends posting enticing pictures of scandals such as “You will hate Rihanna after watching this “, “You will loose respect on rihanna after watching this vid”.  Scareringly enough, many of the affected users say they never posted the explicit content,  and that they are unable to see the malicious content on their profile to remove it.

It’s a frightening thought to know that your friends and family members may be questioning your once clean character because of such explicit content. Even in an age where employers are now perusing your Facebook profile to determine your employment suitablity, such explicit content on your profile could prove really detrimental to your employment chances.

How can you fall victim to this scam you might ask?

  • By falling for a clickjacking scheme (is a malicious technique of tricking a Web user into clicking on something different to what the user perceives they are clicking on, thus potentially revealing confidential information or taking control of their computer while clicking on seemingly innocuous web pages)
  • being tagged in content without your knowledge
  • Having weak Facebook privacy settings
  • Being tricked into installing malicious code
  • Falling victim to a vulnerability inside Facebook itself (Yes, lax code from Facebook can put you at risk)

Facebook’s has even hinted as such:

“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. Recently, we experienced a coordinated spam attack that exploited a browser vulnerability. Our efforts have drastically limited the damage caused by this attack, and we are now in the process of investigating to identify those responsible.

During this spam attack users were tricked into pasting and executing malicious javascript in their browser URL bar causing them to unknowingly share this offensive content. Our engineers have been working diligently on this self-XSS vulnerability in the browser. We’ve built enforcement mechanisms to quickly shut down the malicious Pages and accounts that attempt to exploit it. We have also been putting those affected through educational checkpoints so they know how to protect themselves. We’ve put in place backend measures to reduce the rate of these attacks and will continue to iterate on our defenses to find new ways to protect people.”

To avoid being scammed into this, please heed the following advice:

  • First and foremost, NEVER EVER, click on suspicious looking links or links that holds the allure of a juicy pornographic scandal.  These type of sites are the primary sources of the majority of viruses, malware, spam and crapware that are found on your machine.  Visiting these sites are a sure way to have your computer compromised and your Facebook image tarnished.

If you have gotten a Facebook notice that you have been tagged in such explicit content, DO NOT, DO NOT open it.

All unusual or suspicious messages from your friends via chat saying ‘click this link’ , you know better,  DO NOT Click it!!

Be very wary of  reposting warnings of attacks on Facebook, as they themselves may be a scam, hoax or malware attack.

Always look at your status bar below and see what the web site address of the links are.  If it looks suspicious, then chances are it is. e.g. (www.8ujeo5fgidjd.com)

  • Completely review your Facebook Privacy Settings on a consistent basis.  Facebook regularly updates its site, so its security settings may be changed without your knowledge.  Always check to see what settings you have for things such as who can view photos, who can view photos you are tagged in or who is allowed to tag you.  A good security measure is to ensure that your profile is not made available for Public viewing, but only to your selected friends.  Also, you can place your friends in lists, and applying different security to each list for added security.
  • Be vary careful about the applications that you install on your Facebook profile.  There are a host of applications that people are installing that leave Facebook posts on your newsfeed without your knowledge.  Be vary wary of those applications that request your permission to make posts to your newsfeed.  A good security measure, which may be deemed as paranoid, is to NEVER install any Facebook applications such as Farmville or CityVille. You may never know if there may be one malicious App developer in the bunch.
  • Be very careful to link or connect your Facebook login ID to sites, as many of them may post your activities (such as what articles you read or videos you watch) on your Facebook newsfeed without your knowledge. (e.g. sites include Yahoo News, SocialCam)
  • Be careful about the content you download and install on your machine.  Again, the allure of free illegal music and crack software brings along the headache of viruses and its other nefarious friends.

What  do you do if you come across such an attack?

  • Report the offensive post, photo or video to Facebook.   There is a link provided on each post, photo or video to enable you to easily report the content.  When you report it, the post is deleted from your profile and a message is sent to Facebook.
  • It is also good if you give your friend the ‘heads up’ and message them privately about the attack.
  • If your account has been compromised change yourr password and make sure their anti-virus program is running and up to date.

    So people, you have heard this one, twice, three times and forever you will be hearing it: Be careful online!!!  It’s a jungle out there!

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