They’re loathsome, devious, annoying – and illegal! They are spam messages – and sometimes spam can infiltrate your Facebook account. You know where it starts: less-than-ethical persons use an electronic system to send unsolicited messages (spam) for marketing or nefarious purposes.
Unbeknownst to you, your Facebook account may be sending out spam messages under the guise of your Facebook identity. You wouldn’t intend such a thing to happen but even the most security-cautious computer (and Facebook) user can inadvertently introduce a malware bot into another’s computer. You might have unknowingly:
- Clicked a malicious link embedded in a Friend’s post.
- Downloaded a bad file.
- Logged into a fake Facebook Page or website.
What to do? Here are some How To steps for resolving your spamming problem:
- Check your list of Facebook apps (or games) for any that were recently installed. If an app looks suspicious or you are unsure of what it does, delete the app:
- Click the down arrow 6at the top of the Facebook and select “Settings.”
- Click on “Apps” (in the left column).
- Hover over the suspicious app (or game) and clix “X” to remove the unwanted item.
- Complete those steps followed by running a full virus scan of your computer.
In addition to those steps, consider taking these steps as well:
- Go the “Facebook Account Compromise Reporting Page.” (If your account has been sending out spam, it has indeed been compromised!)
- Click on the “My Account Is Compromised” button.
- You will be directed to the “Identify Your Account” page; enter your email address, Facebook user name, phone number, or your name and the name of one of your Facebook friends.
- Follow the steps provided to report your compromised account.
After those steps have been completed, and the Facebook team has reinstated your account and returned it to your control, reset your Facebook password!
- Access the “Change” link under the “My Account” password section to change your password.
Wait: you might not be done with the cleanup and refresh, yet. If you have been able to identify the source of the spam (a rogue photo, post, event, etc.) you can delete:
- The photo or post
Once you have taken care of all these steps, take a deep breath, have a cup of tea or coffee and relax for a few minutes. You have only one final step to take:
- Alert your friends that your account was hacked and caution them not to click on any links that the spammer/hackers may have posted on their Facebook Walls through your inadvertent spam post, chat sessions, or Facebook e-mails.
Think before you click. We all tend to trust the links, photos, and other content our Friends post or forward but they may be unknowing sources of the spammer’s malware. Be alert to anything that looks suspicious, especially:
- Email messages asking for your Facebook password.
- Notifications about Friend requests, events, videos, photos, or messages.
- False accusations that you are in violation of Facebook’s “Community Standards.”
- Warnings to update your account or take immediate action of some sort or something will happen to your account.
- Too-good-to-be-true offers or claims.
Spam can – and does – happen. Protecting your Facebook account is every bit as important as protecting all your personal data online, and off.