Scam Watch: Social Networking Sites

November 04, 2009
Social networking sites like Facebook and MySpace can be helpful to those trying to stay in touch with friends or reconnect with former classmates.  They serve as a platform for instant messaging, status updates, and interactive applications within the sites. 

Applications are created by other users and include games, quizzes, and ranking systems.  Before clicking on the button indicating you agree with terms and conditions of an application, check out what type of information will be collected for it to work properly. 

Even though information provided to networking sites is private, some applications access that information to operate.  If an application takes you to a new page, note the page’s domain name.  Don’t give up your password if the domain name is questionable.  

On Twitter, many users recently became victims of phishing scams, during which they were asked to log into their accounts with their personal login and password.  Days later, these victims were notified by followers that they’d attempted to sell them iPhones or invited them to watch a funny YouTube video that didn’t exist. 

Before logging on to Twitter and other sites, make sure the address at the top of the screen is legitimate.   If you use the same password for all of your social networking accounts, consider changing them to make your accounts tougher to hack.