[+] Increase Font Size [-] Decrease Font Size

Why 'Liking' Facebook Viral Images Makes Scammers Rich


Have you ever seen a Facebook update from one of your friends along the lines: 'you won't believe what happens if you forward this picture to 10 friends'? or... 'click "like" and then check your inbox, you'll be amazed!'?

Ever clicked one?

Despite what you may have expected, nothing actually happens ...that is except some cyber scammer gets a little bit richer.

The pages receive a great big boost in popularity for the simple reason that a) people are intrigued by what will happen and b) they trust their friends, their guard is lower whilst socialising with their friends online. This trust is something cybercriminals prey upon.

Once these pages have collected huge numbers of 'Likes', they are then sold to businesses who use them to make their Facebook page appear more popular.

Facebook rates the popularity of a page by the number of likes and comments it receives, so once a page such as this has been out there for a while - and we are only talking a matter of days, it can accumulate 100,000 likes, this can then be sold for $200, the page details are changed and a business has an instantly popular page with a huge following.

You may wonder what this has to do with your online safety and I have to admit these links do not normally represent an immediate threat, it is more about understanding why these things appear and how your 'click' represents the short-circuit of a valid marketing philosophy. The 'Like' is Facebook's way of deciding whether content is of value to users, so by clicking on the link you are paving the way to attracting more junk to your Facebook experience.

Considering a New Mobile Smartphone?


Nowadays it seems that mobile phone technology is moving so quickly that it is difficult to keep up with it all, more importantly, you may not be able to imagine what you might need one of "those things" for. I used to feel the same way, but a while ago I decided to bite the bullet and get myself a new smartphone and I realised that while technology is getting more and more complex, part of the reason for that is to make things easier and more intuitive for us users.

Back in the mid 1960s the crew of Star Trek spoke to their ship's computer and it spoke back to them, intelligently.

It is a well known fact that since the advent of computers, technological capabilities have broadly doubled every eighteen months. So if we assume a computer built in 1966 has a computing power of 1, by comparison todays computers are over a billion times more powerful! (1,073,741,824 to be precise), but we are still far from a point where we can rely on voice commands to operate complex machinery - without first "teaching" the computer to understand the intricacies of our specific voice intonation and accent.

Most people who use a computer now are familiar with browsing the internet, making searches, logging on to an account or two, maybe even doing online banking. Most also have an email account - let's face it, you are among those, or I wouldn't even be talking to you right now! Jump in your car and you might use a SatNav to find your way to an unfamiliar location. Run to your fridge when a friend calls, so you can add an important appointment that must not be forgotten - but if you don't remember to check your calendar, you'll still forget it.

Very shortly after receiving my smartphone, I discovered how easy it was to browse the internet, I could log onto the same accounts as if I was sitting at my desk, I downloaded an "app" that allowed me to do online banking - more easily than sitting at my desk! I added my email accounts, which were synchronised with my PC login, so if I sent an email from my phone, the email would be in my 'Sent Items' the next time I sat down at my PC. I have an old car, which doesn't have an inbuilt SatNav, but now if I forget to take my SatNav, I can use the GPS maps facility on my phone to discover exactly where I am in relation to my destination. Oh, and my calendar is part of my email login, so not only do I have it everywhere I go, it also chimes in with loud reminders so I don't forget an appointment. I could go on, it does loads of other things too, but I think you get my point.

Hey it makes phone calls too!

If I can help you to discover what a smartphone can do for you, please let me know.