Facebook can be a great and safe way to connect with friends and family who are increasingly spreading across the nation and, sometimes, the globe.

However, Facebook, like many computer programs, is vulnerable to viruses that can take a lot of the fun out of the world’s largest social network.  Fortunately, Facebook viruses are easy to detect and just a few simple steps can keep you safe.

Situation One:

Problem: Many facebook viruses cause havoc by hacking into the email address that you used to create the account. Once in, the hacker sends malicious emails to your contacts.

Solution: Create an email address solely for your facebook account.   There are several free email sites that will let you set up an account in minutes. This way even if your account is compromised, there won’t really be anything to hack.

It’s important to use a new password for this account, too. That way you don’t have to worry about someone getting your password for other accounts.

Situation Two:

Problem: Some viruses are more of a nuisance than an actual security risk.  This kind of virus makes it look like you are posting a video, link or photo on someone else’s wall.  If they click on the post, it will then make it appear as if that person has posted it to even more people’s walls.

The most popular of these viruses, currently, is the “look who has been looking at your profile”.  If you see this post on your wall, delete it immediately.

Solution: Fortunately, avoiding these viruses usually just takes a little common sense.  If you notice that someone has posted something on your wall and if doesn’t seem like the poster would send to you, it may be a virus.  Also check out if the same post has been sent out several times by one person, that’s also a pretty big hint that it’s a virus.

Situation Three:

Problem: There are applications on facebook that are just viruses.

Solution: If you do decide to add applications to your facebook page, make sure that they are from a reputable source.  If you don’t know if an application is safe, it’s best to find another that is.

If you have already added an application to your facebook page that turns out to be a virus, make sure to remove the application and then make sure to change your account information.

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