How to Spot Social Media Spam
Social media spam is a nuisance. In fact, it has been reported that up to 40 percent of social media accounts may actually have been created for the sole purpose of sending spam to other users. Even though many of the top social media companies have made attempts to rectify the situation, spam users still continue to wreak havoc on the social media world and many unsuspecting users.
Problems Caused by Social Media Spam
Social media spam can cause serious problems for users. People who open spam messages or click on spam links often have their social media accounts hijacked. Personal information and information from contacts can be stolen and redistributed to other sources.
Spammers can also use an unsuspecting user’s account to send multiple spam messages and links to others. Spam also frequently contains harmful viruses known to cause extensive damage to computers and mobile devices. There are many products and anti-virus packages available which can help your computer stay virus free.
Spotting Social Media Spam
Although it may be difficult to know what spam is and what it is not, there are a few telltale signs to look out for. Here are some of the more obvious ways to spot social media spam.
- Sales Pitches: This is probably the most obvious form of spam. Unsolicited messages and tweets trying to sell products and services should be deleted immediately.
- Messages from Unfamiliar Users: Do not open any links contained in messages or tweets from unfamiliar users.
- Nonsensical Words: Many spam messages contain a series of nonsensical words strung together.
- Money Requests/Proposals: Some spammers try to play on the hearts of social media users by asking for donations to cover the expenses of a necessary medical procedure or some other traumatic event. Other spammers also attempt to offer fraudulent money by saying that they need help in trying to get it out of their country of origin. These types of financial transactions should generally not be handled on social media sites.
- Check Followers: If a suspicious tweet is received on Twitter, it is easy to check a person’s account to see how many followers they have. A person who has few followers but follows many other people may be a spammer.
- Limited Bio: Many active spammers do not bother to put much information in their bios. Many of these spam accounts also do not include any photos.
- Check Broadcast to Reply Ratio: Most spam accounts on social networking sites broadcast numerous messages but reply to very few of them.
- Asking for Followers/Contacts: Spammers are also known to ask for followers or make requests to be added to a person’s contact list.
Learning how to recognize social media spam can save users a lot of grief and can improve your social media experience.