For many years I have shared advice with other computer users about the threats which can spread across the internet.
And, with the rise of social networks like Facebook, regular net users have found themselves exposed to new kinds of attacks where scammers try to trick you into clicking on a link in the belief that you will see a shocking video.
The most recent example is the purported video claiming to show the deaths of 18 people in a roller coaster accident at Universal Studios, Florida.
It is, of course, nonsense. But the scammers want your curiousity to get the better of you, and for you to click on the link and unwittingly share it with your online friends.
So, what do I do? I write an article all about the scam, warning Facebook users not to be duped. And it is duly shared by Facebook users over a thousand times.
And what does Facebook do? It blocks the link to my warning article – believing it to be the scam itself.
You can’t post this because it has a blocked link
The content you’re trying to share includes a link that our security systems detected to be unsafe:
Please remove this link to continue.
If you think you’re seeing this by mistake, please let us know.
Sometimes I feel like hitting my head against a brick wall when folks can’t tell the difference between a scam and a *warning* about a scam.
Update: Well, there’s a happy ending. Facebook saw me tweet about this issue and fixed it. Hooray for them! (You don’t hear me say that very often, so enjoy it :) )
@gcluley fixed : )
— Michael McGrew (@mtmcgrew) April 29, 2014
PS. It was good to see some people had the right response…
@gcluley That's appalling behaviour! I shall boycott them… until at least lunch.
— Matthieu Rider (@travellingmatte) April 29, 2014
If you are on Facebook, and want to be kept updated with news about security and privacy risks, and tips on how to protect yourself online, join the Graham Cluley Security News Facebook page.