Think before you click or share!

DontClickWe all receive messages on Facebook and email from trusted friends, in particular – older generation family members – featuring images of cute puppies, inspirational quotes, and great deals. Unfortunately, unless these messages were generated by that trusted source, they are most likely carrying a virus and are trying to get you to click on a link or share a message to hack into your system.

Do I need to say it?


Let your friend, colleague or family member know that you do not mean to offend, but you won’t be viewing the attachment or link in their message because you can’t afford to risk affecting your computer. Even if it means you will have bad luck for the rest of your life… they will understand, and might stop spreading these messages themselves.


Online predators have a strategy to collect emails and to enter as many computers or handheld devices as possible. Recently, a scam app (read about it in USA Today) was revealed that claims it can change the color of your Facebook profile page.  Mr. Zuckerberg would never allow that!  Actually, the app loads malware onto your smartphone or computer. When Facebook users click on the fake app, it sends them to a malicious website that asks them to watch a tutorial video about how to change the color of their profile page. By agreeing to watch the video the users give hackers access to their profiles, letting the app spam their friends. If the user doesn’t watch the video, the app will lead users to download a more malicious and vile app.

Anyone who has already fallen victim to the scam should uninstall the app immediately (this can be done from the “app” menu in your Facebook settings) then change your Facebook password.


Your passwords should be changed often – at least twice per year – and should not be stored on your computer with a file name like “Log In” or “Passwords”. Why make it easy for the bad guys!

Pick a clever name for the cheat sheet file, and password protect it so that you know predators…in and outside your home…cannot access your private information.  Make sure your passwords have 8 or more characters, including symbols, numbers and upper/lower case letters.  DO NOT use the same password for all accounts – especially online banking and other accounts where you have used your credit card.

The internet can provide a wealth of information and convenience in your life.  With a little effort, you can decrease the possibility of sparking interest by online predators.

Then, maybe they will have to get a REAL job!

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