Avoid viruses on Facebook and applications that steal personal data

Facebook virus Facebook can become a very useful tool to keep in touch with your friends and to find classmates from past years, thus maintaining the links created at school. Unfortunately it's not all a bed of roses: on Facebook we can also receive viruses or spy apps, think to steal your password or compromise your privacy, stealing information and data from our profile (for advertising purposes or to clone accounts).
How to defend yourself? In this guide we have summarized all kinds of threats you can come across on Facebook (sometimes hidden in apps or unsuspected pages), to stay away from in order to avoid future problems. We will also show you how to recognize types of threats, so think twice before taking any action on an app or page.

Facebook threats

With the growing popularity of the social blue, the security systems that Facebook has adopted to protect users have also increased. While before it went quite "free-wheeling", today very little is enough to avoid the threats of Facebook and prevent data or profile theft. Let's see together in what threats we can still run into Facebook.

Games and polls app

Recently, Facebook has cleared many of them malicious applications that steal personal data, which were offered as interactive toys or surveys (like "how will you be in 40 years" or "what soul mate will you meet?") but that actually only stole personal data, violating all privacy rules; in the most serious cases they could also provide full access to our profile, without our permission!
Fortunately it is therefore increasingly difficult to run into this type of content (especially after the case of 2018 where an app was able to collect personal data on Facebook by deception), but if we still find some sharing or some notification on games or surveys that we don't want to know anything about, we can disable them by clicking on the three dots of the notification and using the entry Turn off notifications for this page / app. If instead the app appears in the news stream, simply click on the three dots in the upper right corner of the post and use the entries Stop following the app, Hide app notifications is Report app.
If you happened to click on a strange link appeared on Facebook or if you accidentally allowed an application that seemed to be harmful, proceed as follows to revoke access and protect your account.
Click on the down arrow button at the top right, then open the Settings and in the right column go up Games and websites. Press on Show All, Select suspicious applications and then press the button Remove. on the X to the right to remove it completely. The application will now no longer be able to collect data from your profile.
For more details read also how remove Facebook applications that steal data and information

Collection of Likes and Fake News

This unfortunately is still a very common threat on Facebook: a page, a site or a single character require you to put I like it on a photo, on a video or on any shared content, with the aim of spreading a fake message (with the addition of a bit of "psychological pressure", since it is often spiced with phrases such as "will soon be censored or obscured by the strong powers ") or simply to collect a good number of personal data from the unsuspecting people who click on the fateful Like button. Fortunately, Facebook is now able to detect most of the sites and pages that spread "Fake News", obscuring them from the stream of all users, but it is not enough.

The most experienced in this type of threat, called "engagement bait", use i I like it like real "votes" in a prize contest: the winner will be offered the meeting or a phone call with an important person, often a politician of national fame. Obviously, beyond the goodness of the prize (often true), the organizers of the "prize competition" will take the trouble to collect all the data of the users that leave the Like, including information such as political orientation, religion, personal interests and place of birth (all very useful information to carry out marketing campaigns and tailored political campaigns).

The less experienced in this type of threat will instead be limited to collect the Likes on protective religious photographs, on animals to be saved, on children with serious illnesses (with really ridiculous phrases such as "only with 1 million Like will heal") and so on, with the aim of reselling these Like to marketing agencies or to sites in search of fast visibility (they pay to get the likes of another page or another site).

Defend yourself against these threats to privacy you can, just ignore any type of post, video or image in which you are force the user to like and share and on the news check, from reliable sources, whether it is true or not, as described well in our guide Fake News: how to recognize them and avoid false news.

People we don't know

Precisely because of the large number of likes and shares that we have (possibly) sold on the right and on the app, in photographs or in strange surveys, it can happen to receive notification on one or more completely unknown users who ask us for friendship.
Instead of adding without criterion, let's try to remember if this person is of our knowledge, even in the past: if we can't find any link, it's probably a fake account or one of those bot account that bind to the profile in order to quickly access data hidden by Facebook's privacy filters (if we have set the social network to show all data only to friends).
Needless to add people we don't know: to keep our privacy safe, it is worthwhile to add only people who are trusted or have been around for a long time, ignoring the friendship demands of people we've never seen before.

Conclusions

Whenever a site asks to log in via Facebook account, you must always be careful and see what information we are going to make visible for those who manage that site. In most cases they will be just a name and an e-mail address, in other cases, however, they may be all the profile information that can be used by that site for commercial or electoral or advertising purposes.
A golden rule to keep the PC safe is update the operating system and browser to surf the internet; many applications exploit browser or operating system vulnerabilities to access private information. In this regard, I invite you to read our guides on how How to update your PC and check for Windows updates and how Update the Android Apps on smartphones and tablets.

Another interesting article to read to increase the security of your Facebook account talks about how Avoid having your Facebook password stolen and your account stolen.

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