Facebook viruses have been around for a while, but lately I’ve seen them cropping up even more frequently. You get a Facebook virus when you click on a link that installs malicious code or if you allow an untrusted application access to your account. The links most people click on claim to tell you who has been looking at your Facebook profile (catch those stalkers and ex-boyfriends in the act!) or allow you to watch a video of something “you won’t believe!” or even a video of you (What were you doing here? That’s crazy!). Facebook viruses are becoming harder to discern.
This article explains how to fix your Facebook account if you have a Facebook virus.
What Do I Do If I Have a Facebook Virus?
The first thing you have to do when you discover you have a Facebook virus is change your Facebook password. Here’s how:
- Log in to your Facebook book account.
- Click Account > Account Settings.The My Account page appears.
- Click the Change link next to Password.Three text boxes appear.
- Type your current password into the Old Password text box.
- Type a new password into the New Password text box.
- Re-type the new password into the Confirm Password text box.
- Click the Change Password button.
Once you’ve changed your password, write a status update alerting your friends that you clicked on a bad link and had a Facebook virus. Tell your friends not to click on any links that appear to be from you (then refrain from posting any links for a while so people don’t worry about which links are good or bad). If you know specific people received a viral link from you, head over to their Facebook Wall and delete the message from you if you can and let your friend know not to click on the link.
Finally, check to be sure the application isn’t lurking on your account. It’s probably not, but it’s good to be sure and now is a good time to clean out the apps you’re not using any more anyway. To check the apps connected to your account, follow these instructions:
- Go to Account > Privacy Settings.The Choose Your Privacy Settings page appears. At the bottom of the page is a header called Apps and Websites.
- Click the Edit your Settings link under Apps and Websites.The Apps, Games, and Websites page comes up.
- Click the top Edit Settings button (by Apps You Use).The Apps You Use page comes up listing all the apps you’ve allowed to have access to your account.
- Go through the list and be sure you know each and every one of the apps.
If you’re unsure if the app is trusted or if you want to remove an app:
- Click the Edit Settings button next to the app.
- Click the Remove App link.
If you don’t see an app that looks like it’s related to the virus, that’s OK. It may not be there. Changing your password is what really matters, this last bit is just insurance.
How Do I Know If a Link Is a Facebook Virus?
With every new current event, you can expect a new rash of viruses. When Osama bin Laden was killed, links surfaced on Facebook suggesting you could watch the raid or see Osama’s dead body. In the last month, a particularly insidious Facebook virus was going around that sent a message claiming someone had tagged or commented on a photo of you. Many times the person who supposedly did the tagging wasn’t someone you knew and many people clicked on the link. Other versions of the virus named the tagger/commenter as one of your friends. Unfortunately, when you click the link, you’re taken to a blank page and most people simply think the link was bad or bogus. In actuality, the link installed a Facebook virus and started sending out bogus links to your friends. If they clicked the links, they got the virus.
One way to avoid getting a dreaded virus is to pay attention. Before you click on a link, consider the source. Is this the type of link this friend usually shares? If not, don’t click. If you’re tempted to click, first hover your mouse over the link and look in the lower left corner of your browser. You’ll see the URL attached to that link. If it’s not a URL you’re familiar with, don’t click the link. If you see .info in the link, I suggest not clicking the link (a link that infected my friend’s account was a .info link).