Over the past couple of weeks I have gotten several emails from friends that I know well. The subject is always “for Kris”. However, upon opening the email it is obvious that it is spam. The from email address is a bogus address and there is nothing in the email but a shady link. Do I click it? Heck no.
Based on the email address of some messages being received I first assumed it was just the usual Yahoo! spam. My mind was quickly changed when I started to receive them from other mail providers. Then I noticed that the way the sender's name were displayed matched exactly to those of my Facebook friends. I was not sure if it was a matter of the user's account password being hacked or what.
Google to the rescue. Just a few days ago Forbes.com posted Facebook Says ‘Misconfiguration' Allowed Spammers To Impersonate Users. So, what does this mean for us? Supposedly nothing. However, I do have a few suggestions to go along with what is listed in that article.
- As stated in the article, I would suggest changing your password just for kicks, and upping your Facebook security settings. If you have any questions about what makes a good password, read this post.
- As with any phishing emails, DO NOT…. I repeat DO NOT click on any strange links even if they appear to be from a friend. If the link URL looks iffy, it probably is.
- If you get an email that appears to be from a friend of yours, take a quick look at the email address. Is it their real email address? Or does it appear to be some randomly generated address? If so, do not trust it.
- NEVER reply to a phishing email. Do not write back and say “Hey friend, did you send me this?” If the email is not from your friend that verifies for the phisher that your address is real and valid and they will get you even more! Instead, contact them in a separate email sent to an address that you know is correct, or call them on the phone.
- Make sure that your virus protection software is up to date. I still recommend Free AVG.