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Social Networking spam on the increase

Alex Christie

2 February 2010

Have you noticed an increase of spam on Facebook recently? Spam is not a new problem on social networks but recently it seems that it has increased on Facebook. We know the problems that Twitter faces with spam bots and trend spam . Anyone with a Twitter account has been followed by @dirtypics or an equally spammy account inviting you to view their collection of pictures.

Increase in spam friend requests.

Increase in spam friend requests.

It now seems that these spam bots have caught onto Facebook. Gone are the days when only your real life friends and the people you said three words to in your entire school career where your Facebook friends. Recently I received a few friend requests from people I really did not know. There was one I clicked on,  just in case I took a course with her at University and a picture from a different angle might remind me that I do know her. Then I looked at her friends and her wall just to check if she has familiar friends or posts and realised that 99.9% of her friends are guys (that go behind the red curtain at the video rental store).

Sophos recently conducted a survey in which they found that 57% of users have been spammed via one of the social networking sites. This is an increase of 70.6% from last year. The worrying part is that the proportion of users being sent malware via social networking sites has also increased by 69.8%. This is a big problem for individuals as well as businesses, due to the increase in employees’ time spent on social networking sites.

You can’t control who sends you a friend request or attempts to follow you on Twitter, but  you can be aware of who you accept as a friend.  Be careful where you click otherwise you to could be stuck behind the red curtain with all the others.



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