Beware the Facebook email… that’s not Facebook

Never underestimate the abilities of a determined and creative phisher.  Making the rounds is a phishing email that spoofs a Facebook notification, the one that says someone has commented on your status.

The first clue in the email that it is a fake is that the person mentioned in the subject line is probably not someone you know.  But, if you are one of those folks who has a zillion FB friends, that may not seem unusual to you – and zap!  They got you!  Or, if you are one of those folks who is curious how that stranger was able to post on your timeline, so you click on the link…  Zap!  They got you, too!

The second clue (for Outlook users)  is that when you move the email to junk mail and open it there, you can see the links teh clearly don’t lead to Facebook.  (Remember, the active junk mail folder in Outlook is “safe mode” for your email.  You can safely open phishy emails there.  Only the active one does this.  Your archive junk mail folder in NOT good for this.)

If you don’t use Outlook, see if what you do use will let you see the email as a text-only email, and do NOT click on any links.   Most text-only viewers will show the real links behind the lying text.

The devilish beauty of this email, though, is that it is such a good copy it doesn’t look suspicious, so you may just click on the links without thinking.  DON’T DO IT!  Remember, rule #1 about emails – never click on links in the email unless you have verified beforehand that the link is legitimate.  NEVER.

It’s a bother, but even with Facebook – heck, especially with Facebook – never click on an email link but log into your account directly from your browser.  That means, go to Facebook.com EVERY TIME you want to log into it, and don’t take shortcuts by clicking an email link.

The best protection against phishing emails is to not play the game at all.  Just like you wear a seat-belt every time you get in a car to protect against that one accident that will come at some unknown time…  DON’T CLICK ON LINKS IN EMAILS!  That is your protection against the one that gets by at some unknown time.

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