Exercising Caution in an Electronic World

ID-10093855I have a variety of friends who have varied views on how visible they should be online. Some avoid it at all costs – using both emailing and internet searches sparingly. In fact, some of my age group don’t even own a computer.

Others cautiously create a Facebook page, and perhaps even an Instagram account, but mostly to look at other people’s posts.  And some, like me, embrace this new way of communicating, staying in touch, and putting the fun and not so fun life events out in front of their online friends. Those of us with home based businesses know the value of Facebook and other social media sites to connect and sell.

It can be  a scary thought to imagine how many electronic footprints we have out in that world. Recently I googled what sights to see on our planned trip to Vegas, and said to my hubby – Watch how quickly the sponsored ads on Facebook start advertising that tour  – it was immediate !! So “big brother” or internet cookies are a fact of life – it is how to make your browsing and posting a bit safer that recently has been a focus of mine.

Perhaps some say –  But Terry you are not very cautious with your comments/likes etc. But that is where you might be mistaken. I try to learn what is real and what is not but sometime get caught !!!  I am often behind the scenes cautioning friends as to what to watch for and what to do if certain breeches happen.

Some of those scenarios could be :

Duplicate Facebook page :  You see a friend request and you wonder “am I not friends with them already” but being a good friend you click YES to their friend request. Not a good idea. If that was a true duplicate request, some scammer has now your information and how much you share.. That may be your whole friends list.

  • Instead – check your friends list first, click DELETE REQUEST  and then report this as spam – follow the links and it gives you the opportunity to send a message to your friend to tell her she has been duplicated.
  • If this is you – find the page click on the three dots after message  report as spam – say it is impersonating you .. and follow the links. Again the sooner the better.

Screen Shot 2016-08-12 at 2.04.11 PM

2. Click Bait :  There are many sites on the internet that exaggerate truth and distort information behind a story, just to get you to click on the link and visit their website. This is referred to as clickbait.
To help you understand what clickbait is, here are three examples from my source.  They are:

  • “When She Looked Under Her Couch Cushion And Saw THIS…I Was SHOCKED!”
  • “He Put Garlic In His Shoes Before Going To Bed And What Happens Next Is Hard To Believe”
  • “The Dog Barked At The Deliveryman And His Reaction Was Priceless”
  • A most recent one is the stories re Melissa McCarthy that lead you to a weight loss supplement ( are you kidding me ?? )

Try to avoid clicking on ClickBait – they are collecting your information. Facebook is putting in some stops of this nonsense but some will get by them.

3. Facebook “Like Farming ” Scams:

  • Click on the picture, type _____  and see what happens ( hint: nothing will but the poster now has your Facebook information )
  • Can you name an animal without a certain letter in the name ( or variations)
  • Click Amen ( or like or pray for )  for this poor little child with cancer /deformity/born prematurely ( these people are using someone’s real picture to draw you in and will use your information in some way.  The picture is stolen and some innocent family has been stolen from – what an added stress  to someone who really does have a sick child.
  • Sometimes it is a Fan page – perhaps a child with Downs syndrome doesn’t think she is beautiful and she needs ” likes’.. your friend likes it, you see it, you like it and on it goes. When the page gets a few thousand likes, they turn it into a business page ( or worse ) and you are now liking that page and getting it on your feed. It may be something you have never and would never endorse or even a porn page.
  • Pages  put out by others on behalf of a celebrity – the most recent one is our young olympic swimmer – someone put out a page to support her. Many jumped on board to like the page and comment – SPAM !! Even Swim Canada noted that in the comments. The hint here is if it is not the athlete’s page, is created fairly recently, and claims with message that seem to come from the celebrity. IF there is something not quite right.. move on !!


  • $100 Walmart card, Costco card, airline tickets  etc – no it is not very likely that everyone who goes thru their song and dance ( message 10 people, put it on your page, share etc etc etc ) is going to get $100.00 gift card.. so just don’t go for it.
  • They are also not giving away laptops, macs, ipads, etc etc etc. Again a Like Farming Scheme
  • What appear to be companies giving a way a LARGE TICKET item. Yesterday I saw a Coach ( motor home bus ) worth close to $1,000,000 to win by a company with no address listed and who started their page on August 8th. They have gained 29,000 likes since then – perhaps you and I. If you liked this page, I would recommending ” un-liking ” it as they are either selling the likes or mining your information and your friends

5.   I am going to add this one to the list. Curtesy of Jan Miller ( TheGrommet.com)

Anytime someone sends you a Facebook item with instructions “copy & paste” instead of share”, please stop and ask yourself “why not share?” The reason usually is that, hidden within the text message, there is a nasty bit of hacking code that cannot be spread by “sharing” ( which is why Facebook created “sharing” in the first place).
REMEMBER: hackers are like vampires…they can’t come in unless you INVITE them. When you “copy & paste”, you bypass Facebook’s security and not only invite hackers, but you also infect your friends.

This briefly explains some of the pitfalls we might  fall into and how  to avoid them.

I would also add:  if it is too good to be true it probably is, if you don’t know the person who originated a ” like” or “pray” for story – don’t like it or say amen or  pass it on.  Before clicking on a link from Facebook, always remember to check the address bar, which should always display “www.facebook.com/” and nothing else like “www.facebook33.tk” or “www.facebook1.php”, etc. which is a giveaway of a phisher. It can steal your e-mail and password, as well as post spam links to your friends’ walls.

If you think you clicked a page in error or you have liking regret you can go to your Activity log ( see pix ) and unlike it,  remove it or mark it as scam.

Screen Shot 2016-08-12 at 2.49.28 PMYou can also go to your profile ( the one with your name on it ) and check ” Pages I have liked ” for any that you don’t remember liking or never in a million years would have – Simply unlike.. it is one click and done.  Or if something is coming across your feed you would rather not see, click on the right of the post, click unlike and move on.  Report only if it is a post NOBODY should see.

I have been cleaning out my ” likes” and have come across pages like this one.  Guaranteed I never liked a page not even in English, but me and 499,000 others have – so this was probably a give away.

Screen Shot 2016-08-13 at 11.48.56 AMThere are other ways ( settings, picture posting and tagging etc)  that can help keep you safe.. I will save that for another post.



picture credit to Freedigitalphotos.com

About Terry Jago

Retired nurse manager interested in living my best life with natural and healthy living choices.
This entry was posted in Electronic safety, Facebook, Healthy LIving. Bookmark the permalink.

3 Responses to Exercising Caution in an Electronic World

  1. kimdalferes says:

    THANK YOU for these great tips to keep yourself safe on the Internet. Sharing for sure!

  2. Elaine Regimbal says:

    Hi Terry, Thank you for these wonderful tips. I used to work at MJUH 27 years ago, Just found you through a mutual friend.

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