Beware of fake Facebook friend requests
How do you proceed when you get a friend request from someone you do not know? Or someone from a group or game in which you’re participating? Or perhaps a friend of a friend who is not your friend sends a request? Or even from somebody you’re already friends with on Facebook?
If you are adding people to Facebook at random without regard for who they are, chances are you will have issues. You might find your account cloned (someone will generate a new Facebook profile, pretending to be you, filled with your photos and private information lifted off your profile). Or you will be posting rogue things, not understanding you are posting them (because of a rogue friend who now can access your timeline to post whatever they want, including spam). Or perhaps your private information and daily routine are now known by other people you’d prefer not invite into your life (making you susceptible to burglary or worse).
Beware of lurking group members
Should you meet someone inside a group, or game, or application, you have no idea who the individual is, only who he states he is. The individual might be a lurker, wishing to achieve a rapport with other people to become their friend and interact with their account for almost anything.
Remember, there’s no guarantee anybody on Facebook is who they appear at first sight, whether or not their identity seems real.
Wait, aren’t we already friends?
When you get a request from somebody that you realise you’re already friends with, don’t accept. Tell your friend first, as the other request is probably coming from a clone. It pays to double check to protect yourself from fake accounts set up by hackers and spammers.
Rogue friends are not only dangerous for you but additionally for your friends. Cloners pretend they are you, or other people you know, to obtain access to friend lists, delivering friend requests to all individuals they find on a victims’ friend list. When someone creates a new friend account, then rogue posts such as ads, requests for money, or phishing schemes can appear on everyone’s timelines. It might look harmless, but it’s not. Some hackers also create quizzes asking pointed questions to gather personal information from you and your friends.
One way to help protect your friends and yourself from clones is to make your friends list private. That way any potential cloners can’t see it to send you fake friend requests.
When you think your friend got hacked
A legitimate friend may also get hacked, someone has logged in as that individual and is now posting stuff that would never be published by the real person. If you notice such odd behaviour, alert your friend in ways not linked to Facebook, such as email, telephone, or text.
Facebook is full of schemers, spammers, hackers and cloners. Be vigilant and don’t provide them with any opportunity to scam you. Think before you accept that friend request and keep Facebook friendly.