A Facebook message claims that Facebook chain letters are rapidly spreading viruses or are responsible for Facebook accounts getting hacked.
An example of the warning can be seen below –
I am asking all my Facebook friends not to send any more chain letters through Messenger or anywhere!
No flashing hearts or flowers telling me I need to send the message to 10 people, including me if I’m your friend, etc., or don’t make this one a friend…he/she’s a hacker. Many of these turn out to be rapidly spreading viruses. It is also how accounts are being hacked. Hope you understand.
Most People don’t realize most of these have viruses and can be harmful.
Thank you SO much.
Feel free to copy & paste – I did!!
Despite the good intentions of the above message, it’s not really accurate. While we would love nothing more than for Facebook users to stop passing on pointless or inaccurate “copy and paste” nonsense to their timelines, the assertion that these types of messages spread viruses or allow crooks to hack your account is misleading.
Most messages that ask you to copy and paste something to your status are either silly games or hoaxes, neither of which would fit the description of a virus or computer malware. The reality is that merely copying and pasting a message to your status (or sending it through Messenger) isn’t going to lead to a virus infection. Of course if that message contained a link that led to an external website that attempted to trick visitors into installing malware, then this is of course a different matter. However this isn’t something that is particularly common with such “copy and paste” messages.
Even copy and paste messages that contain misinformation, such as the phantom hacker warnings, as annoying and unhelpful as they are, will not result in a virus infection.
The additional claim that “this is how accounts are being hacked” is misleading. For the most part, copying and pasting a message doesn’t put your account at risk of being hacked. There are – of course – exceptions to this rule. For example, if a copy and paste message requested you answer a series of questions regarding your personal information, this could be useful for an identity thief looking to pose as you online. In which case, avoid these types of copy and paste messages.
Ultimately, though, to compromise your Facebook account, a crook needs your password, and they’re not going to get it just because you copied passed on a Facebook chain message.
Yes, please stop passing on silly copy and paste messages. But stop because they’re pointless or inaccurate or fake. Not because you wrongly believe they are harbingers of computer malware.
For more information on this topic, we’ve previously covered it here.