The Dangers of Sharing on Facebook

facebook-promotionWhen you hit like or share on images on Facebook, it isn’t as innocent as it seems.  When you hit share or like on military pictures, sick kids, abused animals, how can you not want to share or like the picture.Scammers are out there to play on your emotions.   I have been guilty of sharing and liking and then it comes and bites me in the hinney.

I am willing to bet that if you have Facebook, you have seen people post images that are directing a person to share a post that has sad little eyes of puppies, kids or whatever else that tugs at your feelings.  I think today I have seen at least 20 shares that say’s ” I bet I won’t get any likes” and it will have an older person, dog, babies or what ever cute picture. How can you say you like them, without constantly liking a post. You will also see posts where it says to comment “amen” and you will be blessed. You may think that sharing is innocent and fun, but the hidden dangers are lurking. Below is a little bit of a highlight.

(Source US Today)-Facebook has changed the way people do a lot of things online. For example, you probably notice yourself reflexively clicking “like” on anything your friends post on Facebook, even if it’s just to acknowledge you saw it. Scammers are taking advantage of that reflex for a dangerous scam called “like-farming.”

Like-farming is when scammers post an attention-grabbing story on Facebook for the express purpose of cultivating likes and shares. Based on the way Facebook works, the more likes and shares a post has, the more likely it is to show up in people’s News Feeds.  

hoax-alert-bill-gates-5000-giveawayIt’s a common sight on Facebook: people posting images, videos or statuses and asking users to like or comment on them. The posts usually contain some sort of promise, like Hey Facebook, As some of you know, I’m Bill Gates. If you click and share this link, I will give you $5,000.00. I always deliver. I mean, I brought you Windows XP, Right? Let me tell you what happens, “Nothing”. well, besides giving the person more likes. You may think they are fun and may seem innocent, but they are actually a kind of scam called “Like Farming”.

The way they work is to get enough likes on a Facebook page. Most of these pages aren’t what they seem and are devious. Once they start getting more and more likes, you will begin to see other things in your news feeds. If you look at the top of the post, you will see the pages. Those who are on Facebook should be careful on what they like. Only like things that you are sure of and that you know the person. For example, if I posted a picture of my grand-kids or dogs, they are coming directly from me. But, if I were to share a post from an unknown source, I am basically helping them to rack up likes so they can get more likes and they have the potential to scam me or others.

On Facebook they have some new features that will open yourself up to potential attacks on your computer by spreading malware. When you see things all of a sudden pop up on your page right after you were searching for something, that is malware. I posted a link  to CNN’s page about the dangers. If you read nothing else, please read that.

You can read about more of the dangers of clicking like and sharing of images.  CNN has a good article, Click Here to read. 

11 Hoaxes on Facebook- This list is from 2014, but they are still in existence.

Pulling at Christians Heart Strings

jesus-2The ones that gets me the most are the ones that talk about Jesus and prayers. Don’t get me wrong, I love Jesus and that will never change. Now, if you are on Facebook, you will see pictures that will ask you to like the picture or comment of you will go to hell. The one I have seen the most of is, “My Dad says if I get 1 million likes I can come back.” The sad thing about this is that people actually believe it.  I have seen a variety of faith-based pictures that they want you to share or to copy and paste something. I can guarantee you that Jesus will be coming back and it isn’t because someone hit liked on a picture. All you need to do is read the Bible and pay attention to what is going on in our world.

chain-letterChain letters get under my skin. I can’t even count how many times I will either get a private message that says something like this; “just forward this email to 20 of your closest friends and you will be happy, or rich, or blessed.” Chain letters have been around for a very long time. When I was a kid, we would do chain letters. If we didn’t pass it on, then something horrible would happen and we would have a curse. Eventually I grew up and realized that nothing is going to happen to me. If it did, it wasn’t because I didn’t pass on a chain letter.

Some of the ones that gets me and it boggles my mind that people who are Christian would send these out to others. Most of the time the person thinks it is harmless. I guess I don’t have much of a sense of humor when it comes to things like this. But, here is a few things I have received;

  • If you love Jesus, send this to at least 10 people including the person who sent it to you!

What I am getting from this is that if I don’t do as instructed and send it to 10 different people then I don’t really love Jesus and in return it would imply that He doesn’t love me.

  • Pssttt, hey you. Yeah I mean You. If you have taken a minute to read this. The angels have seen your struggling with something.  The angels say its over now and a blessing is coming your way.  If you believe in angels then please send this message on to  those who many need it. Please don’t ignore it, you are being tested.  The angels are going to fix two (big) things in your favour.  If you believe in angels then follow your heart and share.

I totally  believe in angels. I have even had a couple of experiences where they have protected me. But, it is God is the one testing us, not angels. Gods messengers(angels) are not the ones in control and testing me, it is God.

  • Forward this to 10 people and God will answer your prayer in 24 hours.”

I’m all for sharing what Jesus has done in my life . But, I don’t think it is a good idea to go about sharing Jesus in this way. To me it seems like it is more of a “superstition” kind of thing.  Of course as a Christian and believer in Christ,  Jesus should be shared, but not in a threatening and superstitious way.

Ways to protect yourself

  1. If it looks like something is too good to be true, it probably is.
  2. Be careful about giving permissions  when you do quizzes. I am guilty of sharing quiz results.  Quizzes were shared over 16 million times in a weekend, gathered the personal information, friends list, IP addresses and device information from millions of users. This is something I am no longer going to do.
  3. It may be a good idea to get out of the habit of liking everything. especially if it asks you to like or share, and offers you a reward for doing so allows Facebook to collect information about your likes and dislikes. It is a way to track what you do and by doing so, you will start seeing advertising and pop-ups that are similar to your likes.
  4. Multimedia is one of those things that I have to work on limiting unless I know the source.  The most common scams to avoid are viral videos and giveaways. I can’t even count how many people I know who have scams happen because of games, quizzes and contests. When you enter these contests or view certain videos, you are giving out a bunch of information.Since I do websites I can tell you that when you come to a site or watch a video, it is easy to find out your IP address, browser, location and other personal information. Unless you know the person or it is a reputable company or person, then it may be best to stay clear and fight the urge.

Do You Remember?

It may seem innocent to click and share images from when you were younger like  rotary dial phones, Tupperware, cars that had the bright light switch on the floor and so on, it is a tool that people use to build up likes so they can make money. Then there is the ones who wants you to copy and paste whatever it is for at least an hour to show awareness for whatever it is. Or, you have the ones where it says, “do you know what this is?” Usually those are items I do remember and some I still use but, those have a way of making me feel old.

In closing, my own advice would be to only share things that you know are true. There are many lies out there and most of what you see on Facebook is a lie or embellished. When I think about what I am sharing, I do my best to make sure it is legit. If there is a cute picture that I like, I will save it to my computer and then post it. I only share stories from reputable and trusted websites.

I also make sure to not accept forwards and I don’t add people who I don’t know or wasn’t recommended by others. You can never be too careful when it comes to the internet.


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