If you are a regular Facebook user you cannot fail to have noticed the plethora of ‘Be Like Bill’ memes which have been cluttering up your newsfeeds. While these look innocent enough, and may have even given you a chuckle, there is a much darker side as these memes are considered to be ‘clickbait’.
The idea behind these memes is that you click on a link below and are redirected to another site to make your own story which you then post on Facebook. This is where the problems really begin as although you have come directly from Facebook the site, Bobla, then asks you to log in again. Exercise extreme caution whenever a site prompts you to log into Facebook as often you will not realise the information you are sharing with them. Yes there, sometimes, are boxes to check or information to read but we tend to treat them as contract small print and don’t really read them.
The Better Business Bureau have been investigating these memes, and other sites which take you away from Facebook but then require log in, and have stated you should always read the privacy terms first and ensure that you are only revealing the information you are comfortable with before proceeding.
Bobla, who originally created these memes, used to state in its terms that “You will allow us to use, edit your content with our service permanently, no limit and no recover.” These have now been modified and the company has said it collects no data from the account of the Facebook user who chooses to share the content from their site. That is only one company however, and there are thousands out there just waiting to get your info, get hold of your bank account or credit card details or even inflict a virus onto your computer which can cause irreversible damage.
This is a legal minefield as even if you have created only 1 meme, or completed one quiz, that app is now on your account. It can then manifest into something else but unless you regularly check your apps you won’t know it. Many games, for example, weren’t what they appeared to be and once they had so many ‘players’ the game turned into a dating website and the users details were being spread far and wide.
Our advice on these matters is to;
- Check your apps regularly and remove any you don’t recognise
- Remove any of these meme or quiz sites from your account
This can be done in a matter of seconds. Simply go to your setting and select Apps. When the screen appears hover over the apps you want to remove and click ‘X’.
Social media is a prime location for these so called ‘clickbaits’ to grab your attention so stay clear. If you see any videos or photos tagged as shocking or sensational ignore them, do not take the bait.
If you receive a link to somewhere from a Facebook ‘friend’ you should also be wary. That link to a shopping deal or hot piece of gossip could well be the result of your friends account being hacked, a term known as ‘clickjacking’. Try and only have people on your friends list that you actually know, and haven’t got hundreds of people on there you have accumulated through game play. That nice woman in Lahore could be a hacker and once she is on your friends list she will hack your friends accounts and before you know it the scam links have gone viral and the results catastrophic.
You should employ the same level of common sense on your social media accounts as you would on unsolicited emails. We have all received emails saying we have won something, be it a car or a shopping voucher, if you haven’t entered a contest you haven’t won so delete it. If you see a link for something you would never normally be interested in ignore it. Enjoy social media, but don’t fall foul of the predators.