Have you ever had the urge to see who was snooping around and viewed your Facebook? If you're human, you probably have, and many hackers have used this urge to their benefit on the popular social network. Can you really track who has viewed your profile, or are all the claims by apps who tout such abilities false? The answer may disappoint you, especially if you have fallen victim to such an app in hopes of finding out who your Internet admirers are.
Facebook has recently been hit with phony messages from apps claiming that they can show you who has been viewing your profile. These messages are nothing particularly new, but they have become more prevalent in recent weeks, according to Internet security firm Sophos. The messages are rather corny and spam-like, such as this one: “OMG OMG OMG... I cant believe this actually works! Now you can really see who viewed your profile! On http://.................”
Anybody who clicked on the link following the message would be sent to a separate web page. The web page asks you to allow it to access your profile in order to show you who has been viewing it. You then get hit by a request for permission by ePrivacy to do a number of things. It asks for permission to access your basic information such as your name, profile picture, user ID, list of friends and other info. It also asks for permission to send you direct email and post status messages, notes, photos, and videos to your wall. In addition, the app asks permission to access your data even when you are not using the app, as well as the ability to manage your pages. By clicking Allow, you virtually open up your profile to complete strangers.
All the hackers need is for one person in the chain to click Allow to set off a domino effect. Person A clicks Allow, and the app spreads its message to Person A's Facebook friends. If one of those friends clicks Allow, the app can spread even further. Names such as Profile Spy, Profile Watcher, and Profile Privacy are just a few examples of apps claiming to provide you with spying power.
Even though Facebook has stated that there is no way to track profile views, this fraudulent scam has worked on many users. Sophos found that by tracking just those links with the bit.ly prefix, over 60,000 users have already clicked on them.
Although Facebook does its best to eliminate such spam and threats, new instances pop up with some frequency. As such is the case, you should always keep your eyes open for similar scams and alert your friends about them as well. If you did fall for the profile tracking scam or others like it, remove any posts from your profile on the subject.
You can also protect yourself in the future from such fraudulent Facebook apps by going into your Privacy Settings under the Account tab. From there, go into Applications and Websites, and you will be able to edit settings concerning spammy apps.
For more on this topic, visit http://news.cnet.com/8301-27080_3-20024026-245.html?tag=mncol;title
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