Today I snapped a bit (not unusual), when I saw a message in facebook messenger concerning a security risk because someone was hacking accounts by becoming a friend! Rubbish, dross, crap….. Just not factual.
In fact, the message being passed by one to hundreds and by those hundreds to thousands is the problem.
So how do you find out if something is real or not? For dozens of years there have been sites on the internet that have tried to provide information about this sort of information, today there are just a handfull of those sites left.
For many years a website called Snopes (link at the end of the article) has been setting the facts straight and leading the way with regard to reducing fake content.
How does it work?
When you visit the site you will find a search bar near the top of the page. Simply copy the subject line or heading into the search bar and search. If that brings back no relevant suggestions then try taking the key phrase from the content and search for that.
If you get absolutely no results then fine, it may be correct.
Why does it matter?
It matters a lot, people forwarding fake messages or messages with fake content fills the internet, inboxes and email inboxes with rubbish that steals time and storage space.
What’s more, many people will read it and believe the content making them perform actions that may actually reduce the security of their social media accounts or computer.
What else can you do?
If the message arrives via email, you can check to see if the link in the email is genuine or is a Phishing attack.
Right click on the link, choose copy, and then go to the Watchman IT Security website, click the floating icon bottom left of the page, it looks like a fishing hook with the word SCAN written under it.
Once clicked you can paste the link in the box, then click Scan.
You will get the results that will give you the important information to let you know if the link is safe or not.
Check your eMail Address
I actually came back to this article 17 hours after I released it because I had forgotten an important site for checking your email address.
If you visit https://haveibeenpwned.com/ and put your email address into th esearch box you will get a small report that with luck is all good news, but, if at any point your website account details has been stolen in a data breach then you will find out from where and what was stolen.
The point of this is to help you understand some things:
1) You need to have different passwords for every website/social media site
2) You should be wary of certain websites because they don’t take their own security seriously
3) If you haven’t used a website for a while and you have an account there – delete it!
If you are uncertain, don’t know who sent the message, can’t get a definitive answer about the validity or safety of a message or link, then delete it or ignore it.
If you are really worried about somting then please contact us via the contact page and we will get back to you (usually within 24 hours).
Be safe and Keep your W.I.T.S. about you.