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Beware of those Facebook "Friends"

By Randy Alderman

We all love our friends, but sometimes those so-called friends are trying to steal your identity!  Yes, I’m talking about Facebook. 

Facebook has become the most used website in the world, and the bad guys have figured out how to tap into that vast resource of personal information for their own ill-gotten gains.

So why is this important information for a banking blog?  Simple.  If the bad guys can successfully harvest personal information from your Facebook account, they may be able to create bank or credit card accounts in your name, or utilize that information to set you up for other types of malicious scams to steal personal bank account information.

And unfortunately, the Holiday season is when most of the scams and fraud occur.

The following are some steps to protect your Facebook account and your personal information.

  • Always double check “friend” requests.  Don’t just automatically click “accept” for new requests.  Take a few moments to review the profile and verify that account is a real person.
  • Scan your list of current Friends and see if any of them show up twice (the newer account is going to be the scam one).
  • Don’t blindly trust friends’ recommendations.  Just because a link, video, or other information is shared by a friend doesn’t meant that it’s safe to click.  It could be a fake account, a hacker, or mean that your friend hasn’t done his research.
  • Be wary of click bait.  Click bait is sensational headlines in a Facebook post to try and get you to click on the link.  Those links, while mostly harmless, could contain computer viruses.
  • Watch for poor grammar.  Scam Facebook posts are many times filled with typos and poor English.

Your Profile:

  • Never make your Facebook profile “public.”
  • Under “who can search for me”, select “friends” and not “everyone.”
  • Your Facebook page should not be linked from a search engine (Google, Yahoo, Bing, etc).
  • The “Login Warning” should be activated, so that you are notified if someone logs into your account on a new device.
  • Check your Facebook activity log.  If you see unfamiliar activity, take further steps to secure your account.
  • When not using Facebook, log out.
  • Regularly change your password.

Remember, even though Bradford National Bank DOES have a Facebook page (look us up and Like us!), we will never use this medium to contact you regarding personal banking issues. 

Don’t forget to check out our Black Friday Security Tips.

This Holiday season, take extra steps to protect your personal and your banking information.  If you suspect something unusual, notify your bank immediately. 

Information for this blog post came from Fox2Now.com and the Better Business Bureau.

 

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