It's been a little sad to watch Facebook devolve from being a squeaky clean site full of people you love to a spam-ridden wasteland. And with a fifth of the world's population using the site, you can be sure the spam is going to keep coming. So you need all the help you can get separating the good links from the bad.
Bitdefender, an antivirus firm, just released its annual list of the most popular malware scams on Facebook. You're probably seen — but hopefully not clicked on! — several of these, as they're not all totally new. The extent to which the fake Rihanna sex tape is still one of the most popular ways for hackers to get onto your hard drive is kind of incredible. Meanwhile, it's good news for Taylor Swift, because last year her own fake sex tape was featured high up on this list and is now completely absent.
So without further ado, these are the top ten most popular malware scams on Facebook. If you encounter any of them in your News Feed, do not click! Only bad things happen to people who click on malware scams. Free sex tapes of attractive celebrities do not happen.
1. Profile Visitor Stats - 30.20 per cent
Everyone's seen an ad promising to tell you how many people are viewing your profile and even who those people are. Well, guess what, Facebook doesn't allow that kind of thing. So don't click those links above. And definitely don't click allow if you a screen like this:
2. Change Profile Colour - 7.38 per cent
Know something else Facebook doesn't allow? Changing the colour of your profile. It doesn't matter how much you love pink. Facebook is blue, and while there are some ways to adjust this, you probably don't want to click on them if they're advertised in your News Feed.
3. Rihanna Sex Tape - 4.76 per cent
There are a few different iterations of the fake Rihanna sex tape scam in recent months and years. Rihanna with boyfriend, Rihanna with lesbian lover, Rihanna with Rihanna — they're all fake. Do not click.
4. Free Facebook T-shirt - 4.21 per cent
The only person that gets free Facebook T-shirts is Mark Zuckerberg*. Check your privilege. (*Fine, you can probably get a free Facebook T-shirt if you go to a Facebook event or something, but you get the point.)
5. Say Goodbye to Blue Facebook - 2.76 per cent
Remember what I said a second ago about not clicking links in your News Feed that say you can change the colour of your profile? Well, even if the wording is slightly different, that fact remains a fact.
6. Unsealed products, free giveaway - 2.41 per cent
Here's a general rule: Nothing is free on Facebook.
7. Check if a friend has deleted you - 2.27 per cent
First of all, this is a pretty masochistic feature. Second of all, it does not exist. Don't click!
8. See you top ten Facebook stalkers - 1.74 per cent
Like all of the other fake Facebook stat programs, this one is also fake. Plus, do you really want to stalk your stalkers?
9. Find out who viewed your profile - 1.55 per cent
Noticing a trend? People would love to know who's looking at them, but again, Facebook does not let you do that. And so instead of including a screenshot of the scam — you can use your imagination — I've included an entry from Facebook's FAQ.
10. Just changed my Facebook theme. It's amazing. - 1.50 per cent
No, it's not amazing. It's a great way to get a virus. *Drops mic, goes back to reading Twitter.* [Guardian]