In this crazed time of social networking – which sites to join can be confusing. Everyone knows the mainstream sites, but reguarly sites are popping up – and people can get emails such as "your friend xyz" wants you to join social networking xxx. The problem is that the friend is someone you know – but the social networking site is not. What to do?
DON'T JOIN – DON'T CLICK OVER TO THE SITE! Forward the email request on to your friend and ask them if they really sent it to you. Most of the time you will find out it is SPAM!
Yesterday I received just such an email that listed a friend who wanted me to join Yaari. I never join anything without checking it out. I did click over to the website (which I should not have) but I was curious. The site looked very suspicious so I did not enter any personal information. Instead I forwarded on that email back to my friend. He responded today saying he had received it from a friend he trusted and apologized. THIS HAPPENS OFTEN so don't think it can't happen to you.
The bottom line is Yaari = SPAM!
Here is a post from someone who also had a bad experience from Yaari and posted about it (I assume he does not mind if I borrowed his graphic). This post is 2 years old but it seems that the spammers are still in play.
Here is what I do and some links to sites that you can find out more information:
1. I never enter personal information on any site unless it is vetted and trusted. If I receive a friend request from an unknown site I NEVER join – I always send the request back through email to my friend and ask if they sent it. Many times I find that it is spam. Sometimes it is not, but I still don't join. I try to only join one or two MAINSTREAM social networking sites.
2. Even on the social networking sites that I do join, I never load my friends from my email address book or any contact database. I always "deselect" that option and hand choose who I am inviting. That takes more time – but means that I won't give permission for applications to access my address book.
I am not saying that it has not or will not happen to me. I am saying that coming from a computer security background makes me paranoid of many things online. Just this morning I received a DM from someone I am just getting to know on Twitter with a link that I am not going to click over until I get more information. The key is to be paranoid and educated on spam. And once you are, realize it is an ever changing game so always keep up to date on spam education.
IMPORTANT RELATED LINKS:
- Techmamas post on the "bank" phishing email I received. There is a great comment from one of my readers with information on how even hovering over a link can be dangerous.
- Twitter's post on combating spam
- COVERAGE ON TECHMEME of Twitter Accounts being hacked
- Facebook "application spam" with info to combat spam
- Federal Trade Commission Consumer page on limiting SPAM
- APWG (Anti-Phishing Working Group)
- Google Webmaster post on fighting comment spam
- Yahoo beefs up it's anti-spam support