May 112010

Over the past few days I’ve received several emails from friends through Facebook, recommending pages, apps, etc.  They have, by and large, all been viruses.  Here are some of the messages, all from friends who didn’t know they had sent them:

  • “So & So”  liked YOU WILL LOVE THIS! on Facebook and suggested you like it too.
  • “So & So” suggested you like SEE VVHO HAVE VIEVVED YOU!

There’s a good article about it on CNet: Five hidden dangers of Facebook (Q&A), and here are some tips and links to help you stay safe.

* Verify Links with Sender Before Clicking: Don’t click on Social Media or IM links to Videos, Pages, Apps, etc., before personally verifying with the person who’s sent them to you.  (We’ve know this about emailed links, but now the spammers & scammers have moved to IM and social media and we need to be more on guard).

* Raise your Alertness Level: Realize that viruses no longer need you to download a film, they can get to you just be luring you to the right page, and they can send that link to you in an email or an IM from a friend.

* Check for Viruses Regularly: Use free resources to stay safe: AVG, Avast (good boot-level scan), Malawarebites, Zone Alarm.  There are others, but these will do most of what you need done.  Remember, one programs’ scan is not enough, run as many as you can. I run pretty much all of them monthly, and have some of them on all the time.

* Back up your files regularly: I use a backup drive at home, and Mozy for offsite backup.  It’s the best $5.00 you’ll spend all month.  This way if you do get bit, you have uncorrupted versions saved.  I backup locally every week (I should do every day, I know) and remotely every two weeks.

Lastly, the Koobface Virus: The most coherent instructions I’ve heard for dealing with this insidious bugger is this page here: Remove the Facebook Virus (Koobface, video, caught on camera). Print out the instructions and follow them, then you can at least feel safe.  For now.

OK, there’s a ton more resources out there, but that’s it for me for now, happy socializing.