Get your [colors of the rainbow] Facebook and its kin back in business, parallel legitimate â€œTimeline removalâ€ movement just a matter of perspective
Ever since the Timeline entered the social media scene, plenty of angry voices clamored for their Old Facebook in high pitched diatribes against the blasphemous Facebook account makeovers. Scammers exploited protestersâ€™ arduous cries and went about their business along two main lines: change Facebook colors or Remove Timeline altogether.
Â Recent developments show plenty of new viralization tricks are in store with these beauties (classics such as Post to Profile and Share seem to be going out of style). Youâ€™ve got:
a)Â Â Â Â Â Game-like requests sent to hoards of friends
b)Â Â Â Â Â A nice page-long story about the installed extension being completely virus-free.Â VIRUS TOTALâ€™s word!
c)Â Â Â Â Â Â Invitations to underground activism for the creators of the Timeline-disabling tool, accompanied by soft warnings playing the emotional blackmail card (â€œWe do not like people who are not following our steps, so letâ€™s all play fairâ€.)
d)Â Â Â Â Â The crÃ¨me de la crÃ¨me of treachery: creating Facebook ad lookalikes that stimulate virtual word-of-mouth advertising.
The Facebook account customization craze has been riding high for some time now and weâ€™ve even got a stream of legitimate apps that promise to embellish virtual socialitesâ€™ houses of (communication) pain. High-profile recommendations about various extensions that enable you to change the way you see your account boost profile customization drives and weâ€™ve now got ourselves a nice dilemma on our hands: how to tell a good Facebook re-decorator from a bad one?
First off, if the app or extension/add-on youâ€™re about to install asks you to pay respects to its artistic skills before you see them at work, just say no. You do want to see the app/extension promise turn to reality before you blindly like dozens of unknown Facebook pages, share messages of praise or resort to other platform-specific recommendations.
Second, as the current trend indicates extensions/add-on installation as the preferred method for account customization scammers, take a look at the details listed in your browserâ€™s tools repository. This is where you can read reviews of the tool youâ€™ve installed and get a sense of how popular it is.
Third, make sure you fully understand the risks of installing a browser extension/add-on. Simply put, while an extension may look ok (even when checked with VirusTotal) for the moment, you never know what scripts it loads every time you open a new Facebook tab. If checking for scripts loaded from third party sites sounds like Chinese to you, then you might want to think twice before hitting any install buttons. That way, you avoid placing any data you type in your browser at the discretion of unknown extension creators.
Fourth, consider how much you really want your Timeline to change. Even with a legitimate app, the most you can achieve is to see your account and everyone elseâ€™ s accounts through the tinted glass of the installed extension. Everybody else will see your accountâ€™s non-enhanced look because their browserâ€™s vision hasnâ€™t been tampered withâ€¦so to say. In other words, youâ€™d just be lying to yourself.
This article is based on the technical information provided courtesy of Tudor Florescu, BitDefender Online Threats Analyst and Andrei Serbanoiu, Bitdefender Analyst Programmer.
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