We’ve all seen our fair share of dodgy messages, spam, fraudulent emails or scams.
But have you ever heard of the Facebook “it’s you” virus and would you be able to recognise it, if it was sent to you?
Like many of these messages, it can be hard to tell when you’re being tricked into accessing something which could potentially be dangerous to you and your loved ones.
Now, as many of us are glued to our devices that much more while in lockdown as a means of keeping up communication with friends, keeping safe online is especially important.
What is the virus?
The “it’s you” Facebook virus is a malicious social media campaign used to extort the personal details of you and those in your friends list.
It’s likely to pop up as a message in Facebook Messenger and will claim to either have information on you, or a picture or video which you are featured in.
Most recently, the chain of messages sent to thousands of people on the social networking site, read: “It looks like you” or something similar, though it is known to take many different forms.
The message will then include a link, hinting that you must click on this to see the content that is apparently about you.
What makes it so hard to tell that you’re being tricked, is the fact that this message will no doubt come from someone on your Facebook friends list.
It could even come from someone extremely close to you, like a family member or loved one.
This isn’t because they’re behind the attack, but rather that they clicked the link and the chain was then sent to their Facebook friends list.
The message will also include your name, personalising it to you and making it even more intriguing as to the nature of the content at the other end of that link.
Should I click the link?
Short answer? No. Do not click the link.
No matter how curious you are as to whether your old school friend has really found an old video of you and is harmlessly passing it on, do not click on the link.
If you click the link, chances are you will infect your device with a vicious malware, send the same virus in a message to all of your Facebook friends and give bad people your Facebook information.
With all of that, not only will you be an unpopular person among your Facebook friends, but you may be the prime target for more viruses in the future, or your account may even be hacked.
What should I do instead?
The first thing you should do is ignore the message or even delete it completely, to prevent you accidentally clicking on that deadly link in the future.
Next you will need to scan your device for any viruses or malware and use antivirus/anti-spyware software or apps to remove them from your device.
You can install protective antivirus software like AVG, McAfee and Norton to your computer or laptop and many of these programs also come in the form of an app, so you can install it on your phone or tablet, using the relevant app store.
Once you’ve done all of that, it’s worth sending a message to the friend that sent you the dodgy link, just to inform them that they may have a virus on their system.