The Dirt Farmer’s Guide to Spam Scam and Ad Safety on Facebook



Spammers and scammers are everywhere on Facebook trying to lure you into clicking their links for their varying nefarious purposes.  What’s a FarmVille player to do to stay safe? Your Dirt Farmer Team has a guide for you on what to watch out for and how to keep safe. Check out the details below and please do share….




The biggest thing to remember is that if something looks too good to be true, it  is.  No company is going to give multiple people money, free expensive products, free gift cards or a lifetime of free products just for clicking or sharing a post on Facebook.  A lot of people think – just give it a chance, why not in case it is true this time? Why not? Not only will you not get what you are sharing these posts can be dangerous. They can take over your account and auto post the spam to all your friends. They can also give you viruses which can steal your personal information, overload your page with unpleasant ads and slow down your computer to a crawl.

Let’s take a look at  a few examples of some popular scams you should be careful NEVER to click. Please note that this is just to give you an idea of common themes and is far from an exhaustive list.



Free products.


Companies do not give away free products of high value simply for clicking and sharing a post.



Free Gift Cards 


Companies do not give away free gift cards of high value simply for clicking and sharing a post.





Huge Discounts 







These will generally be self replicating spam that will hijack your account post to your wall, post to every group that you are in and tag or message your friends. Not only will you not get what you clicked for, you run the risk of being unfriended, blocked, reported and banned from groups for sharing spam. Many people block on sight of such things.


You also run the risk of viruses and damage to your computer as mentioned above. This can be very expensive to clean up, if you are not expert enough to do it yourself



There are many other scams to watch out for on Facebook – one of the worst being the Facebook Security scam which actually steals your account if you click and give it info. Remember – if you don’t know EXACTLY where it goes – DON’T CLICK.

What if a close and trusted friend shared it? It should be ok to click then right? Actually NO.


As mentioned above, if  you or a  friend clicks on one of these spam links it can auto share itself from your account. Also unless you and your friends turn it off – that’s right it is OPT OUT NOT OPT IN – Facebook can use your name and profile picture in any ad they choose and show it to your friends.



Now lets take a look at getting control of your ad experience on Facebook.



First click on the down arrow next to the tiny lock at the upper right of your home page, then click on settings.




Then click on ads on the left




That will bring you to the following screen to manage your preferences.




First let’s take at the middle one “Ads based on my social actions” this defaults to “only my friends” as in your friends can see ads appearing as if you’ve endorsed them. Let’s take a look at what that means by clicking “edit” on the right.



The above description states that they “show ads to your friends based on actions you take, such as liking a page or sharing a post. “ That means that funny pic you shared today can be placed again in your friends’ newsfeed as you endorsing  the business- even if you just liked the pic and didn’t even notice what it was. Your name is a link to your profile as well.



If you do not want Facebook to do this, simply scroll down a bit and change the only my friends to no one.


Now let’s look at the top one “Online Interest based ads from Facebook” That too defaults to yes. Leaving it at yes allows Facebook to track your web browsing on any site that uses Facebook technology. If you log in with Facebook to share a post or leave a comment elsewhere, they can use that to tailor advertising to you.



If you do NOT want Facebook tracking your browsing habits elsewhere, and want ads solely based on your personal preferences and Facebook activity, click edit on the right, and change the choose setting to no.




Finally the 3rd one – Ad Preferences – this allows you to tailor the ads you see on Facebook so they will still be useful to you, without having the privacy sacrifice of allowing them to track you on other sites.





Let’s click edit and take a look at ad preferences – then click visit ad preferences.




You will see lists like the following with numbers beside them.



Click on the arrows on the left to expand the topics. There will then be a list of specifics. Each individual one will have a small x at the right to remove it when you hover over it. You may well find things that don’t excite you as Facebook monitors all your activity everywhere on the site. For example in my list, one of our team loves George Clooney and the rest of us tease her about it in chats. So Facebook decided that I like George Clooney. I’m not particularly interested in him so  I will remove that.




On the right there are also a list of suggested ad preferences. You can click on that and choose other things you are interested in as well. One way or another, you are going to see ads on Facebook. It may as well be on topics that you choose and interest you than their best guess.



Hovering over one reveals “add” on the right.



That’s all for now, stay tuned to the Dirt Farmer for all the latest FarmVille news and information.



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