Don’t Let Social Media Ruin Your Life

“This? This was entirely different and entirely out of our control. That’s the most gut wrenching part: the total lack of control.”

Amanda Reith said this after she found out a picture of her daughter was being spread around Facebook in a spam post. Her daughter was diagnosed with stage IV neuroblasma and the post stated that if you “Liked” the post, one dollar would be donated to her treatment. Obviously this was not true seeing as Amanda had no idea that her daughter’s photo was being used.

What the spammers hoped for was to pull at people’s heart strings. Hitting the “Like” button to donate a dollar to help this sick child might seem like an easy thing to do, but there can be severe consequences. In most cases, after you hit “Like” you’ll be taken to a different website where you will be asked to fill out some surveys or provid credit card information for the “donation.” This is when they steal your personal information and make your life miserable.

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Social spam is up over 350% since the beginning of 2013, with 1 in 21 social messages containing risky content, according to Nexgate. The reason that social media spamming is so prevalent is because a person can be precise with whom they are spamming. Social media has search tools that allow a person to target a specific audience by honing in on gender, age group, location and more. Another problem is that when someone gets hacked and sends out spam, they are sending it out to their friends who trust them and will be more willingly to click on the link. The best way to prevent this is to use common sense. If you see a suspicious post by a friend, contact them offline and ask them about the post.

Apps are popular with everyone, especially spammers. 5% of all social media apps are spammy. You can tell an app is most likely spam if it is offering to do something the social media platform does not offer, like changing your Facebook color from blue to green, visiting your profile or even offering free gift cards. If the app does get downloaded, all your personal information on your phone is at risk!

Not only can Facebook steal personal information from someone, but spam can severely damage a company’s reputation as well. When your company’s Facebook page gets hacked, spam is sent out your audience. Trust is automatically lost. Once your customer’s attention is diverted from your page to the spammers, they can act as you while stealing your audience’s information.

Another form of spam a business can receive is comment spam. This is when a post will be overloaded with spammy comments and turn away any actual clients from engaging with that post or future posts. The best way to avoid these different spam attacks is to constantly monitoring all your platforms. This might seem like common sense because social media is real-time, but always keep track of what posts are being scheduled. Keep a strong password and don’t be afraid to constantly change it.

Spam is not only annoying but it can be damaging to a person’s life or a company’s reputation. Have you or your company ever dealt with a spam problem? How did you fix it and are you still recovering from the effects? Comment below or reach out to me on Google+.