Can I get a virus from Facebook or MySpace?
Yes. It's possible for any website including social networking sites like Facebook and MySpace to distribute malware to users visiting the site. However, that being said big sites such as Facebook and MySpace do a good job at protecting their visitors and it's not likely that the site itself will infect you. Below are some of the common ways Facebook and MySpace users are affected by malware and other exploits.
- Phishing - To gain access to login information scammers may create fake Facebook or MySpace pages or prompts asking for your username and password. If you were to enter this information the scammer could then gain access to your account. To avoid this scheme make sure when you're prompted for a username and password that your address bar is: www.facebook.com or www.myspace.com and not something else. Use caution when visiting any link sent to you in e-mail. See the phishing definition for additional information and tips.
- Worms and Trojan horse - A worm can spread through social networks by your friends. For example, on Facebook the Koobface worm, which promised to show a video, spread itself through friend invites. However, it was only capable of infecting your computer if you agreed to download a video codec. These infections can be avoided by only accepting friend invites from people you know and as always only agreeing to install something onto your computer that you know is necessary.
- Passwords - Make sure you're using a complex password that has letters, numbers, and symbols and never share your password with anyone.
- Privacy settings - Make sure your privacy settings are set to Friends of Friends or Friends Only in your privacy settings under your account.
- Official security pages - Visit the official Facebook security page and if you like what you see follow it to keep up-to-date with security threats. If you're a MySpace user visit the official MySpace safety page for security tips and help.