The VDH Virus Guide: Facebook Clickjacking

Facebook recently overtook Google as the most visited website online. We all have a Facebook profile, and if we don’t, we know someone who does. The volume of people using the site makes it a very attractive target for scammers keen to make themselves rich using tactics like clickjacking, which can make them millions from pay per click advertising.

(Image: Digital Breed)

The way clickjacking works is simple. Users visit sites, videos or links that – unbeknownst to them – place ‘Liked’ content on their Facebook profile. This is done with a code placed over the link that means the user is Liking something without ever knowing it.

You may have seen videos appear on your Facebook newsfeed with shocking, compelling titles, such as ‘most users can’t watch this video for more than 25 seconds!’ or occasionally videos promising footage of snakes eating people or other such tasteful content.

When you click through to the video, it takes you to an external site, which eventually puts you through to a survey or the opportunity to get a free iPhone, iPad or similar, equally fabulous prizes.

In reality, the scammers are making a fortune from pay per click advertising – every time you visit their external link, they make money. This makes you vulnerable for malware, phishing scams and a host of other threats.

You can follow a few steps to ensure you keep safe when using Facebook:

  • Check what you’re clicking on. If something takes you to an external site that you don’t trust, don’t bother.
  • If you notice a video appear on your Timeline that you didn’t approve or Like, delete the post, block it and report it for spam.
  • Keep your antivirus up to date at all times, in case you click through to an external site without meaning to.

Facebook is a great site to keep in touch, socialise and stay up to date with what your friends are up to. With a little bit of vigilance, we can help keep it safe.