Facebook Fights Phishing – Seeks Help From Users

From email, phishing scams have now moved to social networking websites to target easier preys. Everyone has seen them, those annoying clickable phishing ads in their Facebook news feed: “Get free tickets to Holiday destination” or the most popular one “Win a free iPad”. The social network classifies phishing as “any attempt to acquire personal information, such as username, password, or financial information via impersonation or spoofing.” Over the years, phishers have scammed out loads of money from people through different means.

Phishing has been one of the major problems on Facebook for years and today Facebook has announced that it is making a new attempt to curb this menace. It’s launching a select e-mail address, “[email protected]”, where users can send notices of phishing attempts they come across on the social network. “By providing Facebook with reports, we can investigate and request for browser blacklisting and site takedowns where appropriate,” Facebook wrote in a blog post today. “We will then work with our team to ensure we hold bad actors accountable. Additionally, in some cases, we’ll be able to identify victims, and secure their accounts.”

Facebook outlined these tips to help users be aware of phishers:

  • Be suspicious of any email with urgent requests for login or financial information, and remember, unless the email is digitally signed, you can’t be sure it wasn’t forged or ‘spoofed.’
  • Don’t use the links in an email, instant message, or chat to get to any web page if you suspect the message might not be authentic or you don’t trust the sender, instead navigate to the website directly.

Facebook has made an effort over the last few months to directly connect with users, especially when it comes to security. As for its efforts to combat phishing, Facebook said that the e-mail address for users is meant to compliment its own internal detection system. This internal system would notify their team who would gather information on the attack and take the phishing sites offline and help users. They would also assist affected users by prompting them to change their password and provide better knowledge on safety and security to better protect themselves in the future.

Have you ever encountered phishing scam on Facebook? Tell us what you did in the comments below.

Featured image courtesy: ToastyKen