If Clickbait hasn’t happened to you personally, there’s a really good chance that you’ve seen it happen to someone you know. A social media account gets hacked, and suddenly someone is seeing a post from their friend that isn’t quite what they would expect from that particular person. Or if you missed the questionable post itself, you see a message stating that if you’ve received another friend request (from someone you’re already friends with), ignore it because their account has been hacked. The question everyone asks is then “how did this happen?”, but the answer is pretty simple and pretty common: you’ve been clickjacked.
Clickjacked. It’s a technique used by hackers and scammers that takes advantage of our natural tendency to want to see salacious or outlandish pictures, videos, or stories. The problem is, many of those “shocking” posts, known as Clickbait, are nothing but silliness designed to get control of your account or even your computer. And they don’t have to be “outrageous” posts either. In fact, many of them are those quizzes or polls we click on because, essentially, we don’t have anything better to do at the time, so why not?
Once you click on them, often times you’re confronted with terms and conditions you have to agree to before you can take that all-important quiz that you wouldn’t pass up for anything. And like 99.999999% of every person does when confronted with terms and conditions online, you click “Accept” without so much as even passing your eyes across the first line or two, let alone scrolling through the pages of boring legalese. And bingo, you’ve been clickjacked.
The really bad news is that collecting your friends list or taking over your social account for a joyride are only the least dangerous possible consequences of taking the clickbait. Just like any harmful virus, you could lose financial or other personal information or even have your hard drive crashed. All because you just couldn’t help but try to prove your trivia knowledge or resist finding out “what happens next”.
Slow Down and Think is it ClickBait?
The great news is that this potential problem is among the easiest things to solve in existence. Just don’t click on things you’re unsure of. Even if they’re coming what appears to be a friend or trusted source, they may not be. How can you know? There are several ways. One is to hover your mouse over the link and look at the address at the bottom of your screen where it will take you. If it isn’t a site you recognize, you should probably avoid it. If it’s from a friend (supposedly), message them and ask if they actually sent it.
Better yet, train your mind to work better and just avoid all the “shocking” or “exclusive” stuff you see. Most of it is neither. If it turns out that you’ve approved the terms and conditions of an app or game through Facebook that is the perpetrator, you can simply go to your apps under your settings and remove it to end the problem. Usually.
Want more great tips and ideas about how to make the most of your social media? Lettuce help you! It’s what we do, after all.