While Facebook is a wonderful way to grow your home staging business and it comes with good rewards, it also comes with some risks.
Earlier this week, I received a message on Facebook that appeared to be sent from one of my Facebook friends. It was a link to a video and her message said something like, “Is that really you in this video?”
I could see that there was a huge list of recipients who were also getting the same message and some typos in the message made me suspicious so I immediately deleted the message without clicking on the link it contained.
A few minutes later, I saw a post appear on my wall, supposedly from the same friend, with a different link. I deleted it immediately. Unfortunately, at least one of my Facebook friends saw the link, recognized the person as a reputable home stager and she clicked on it. Immediately her computer was infected with a virus and it wormed its way through her entire list of Facebook contacts.
This was the work of the Koobface worm. Koobface is an anagram for Facebook and it targets users of the most popular social networking sites including Facebook, Twitter and MySpace.
The worm is spread by sending Facebook messages to the friends of a Facebook user whose computer has been infected by the worm already. The subject lines are usually tempting enough to make you want to click on them (although most of them sound a tad “teen oriented” to me), but they usually have a lot of strange typos and grammatical errors and there’s always a link in the message that you’re asked to click on.
Simply clicking the link can be enough to infect your computer and you will unknowingly be passing the worm on to all of your Facebook friends as well. Sometimes, when you click the link you’ll be taken to a site where you’re asked to download an update of Adobe Flash player in order to view the video. When you download and execute that file, your computer will then be infected with Koobface.
If you end up being infected with Koobface, change your Facebook password and immediately spread the word to your Facebook friends that they are not to click that link – that it didn’t actually come from you. Then you have to clean up your computer.
Your regular virus scanner might not pick up the Koobface worm, but if you go to a site such as malwarebytes.org you can find a clean-up software that will find the worm and destroy it. After you restart your computer when the scan is finished, you will be fine. If you’ve been infected with Koobface, it could follow your activities on Google, and when you conduct a search for software to destroy it, you could be led to malicious software that will infect your computer even worse.
Facebook is aware of the worm and they’re still working to find a way to keep it from infecting users.
If you’re my friend on Facebook, or if you follow me on Twitter, you should know that I never send silly videos or cryptic links to my friends and I don’t post those types of things on my wall. Unfortunately I have little control over what my friends post to my wall, but when I see something suspicious it is immediately deleted and in the event that I’m not at my computer, there are members of the Staging Diva team who monitor it closely to ensure nothing malicious is posted.
Don’t assume that every link you see on Facebook is safe. If a message looks like it’s out of character for the person supposedly posting it, simply delete it and move along.
Debra Gould, The Staging Diva®
President, Six Elements Inc. Home Staging
Through the Staging Diva Home Staging Business Training Program, Debra Gould has taught more than 4000 people around the world how to make money as home stagers.[tags]koobface worm, remove koobface worm, home staging business, facebook virus, staging diva[/tags]