Avoiding Facebook Likejacking Scams

How to Avoid “Likejacking” Scams on Facebook

Everyone who has used Facebook has probably seen some form of likejacking on someone’s wall or even their own. Those links that you know for sure you or your friend did not put on your wall can usually be blamed on likejacking. Likejacking is usually harmless, but it can definitely be embarrassing, and sometimes malicious software can be installed on your computer as a result of likejacking.

What is Likejacking?
Likejacking is derived from the word “clickjacking,” which has been an online problem for years. Likejacking is a form of clickjacking that happens on Facebook by tricking a user to “like” a certain website or link so that it appears on users’ walls. These links usually promise some interesting video or website, or in some cases, money or prizes. If one of your online friends clicks the likejacking link on your wall and clicks on the video or prize link on the scam website, the link will then be placed on their wall saying that they have “liked” this link as well when they never did. After many of your friends see that you and a number of their other friends have liked this link, they might visit the scam website to see what they are missing out on. These scam websites usually have a video player on them and you must click the play button to watch the video. In reality, there is no video player at all, but instead a hidden like button “under” the play button of the video. This is usually how likejacking works, so watch out for these scams when clicking on links, even outside of Facebook.

How is Likejacking Harmful?
Likejacking websites are usually only trying to get as many people to visit the website as possible for ad revenue, but sometimes malicious content can be installed to your computer without your knowledge. If you do click a link from someone’s Facebook wall and suspect that it could be a likejacking scam, do not click anything on the website to avoid getting a virus or a spyware program installed on your computer.

How Can You Avoid Likejacking?
Some likejacking scams are quite obvious, whereas others can fool even the most experienced web users. Most likejacking links try to get users to click by promising an amazing video that will change your life. You should avoid clicking any link that promises an outrageous video or free prizes and money, as these are most likely likejacking scams. Other likejacking scams are not as obvious so you must be careful when clicking links on Facebook. Some likejacking scams use links that appear to be from applications that actually do exist, so it is important to check links before clicking on them. A simple online search about the link will usually return enough information for you to know whether the link is legitimate or not. Also, logging out of your Facebook account when you are not using it can help you avoid likejacking scams. Some website will have false links with hidden like buttons, but if you click the hidden like button and you are not logged in, the website cannot connect to your Facebook.

Facebook Taking Steps to Slow Down Likejacking
As the Sophos 'Naked Security' blog explains, Facebook has taken some recent measures to slow down likejacking efforts by sneaky developers. If Facebook detects an anomaly in 'liking behavior' by an individual, or suspects certain links to be suspicious or contain malware, it will present the user with a pop-up window asking them to confirm they actually do want to 'Like' the related Facebook page or item. Although it may give some users pause that they are about to be scamming, some users who think without clicking may not realize they are exposing themselves to potential malware, or inadvertently exposing their private information to others.


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