It can happen to the best of us. Scammers are pretty brilliant these days and do a pretty convincing job to make you think they are legit. So, you fell for one, and now you wonder what you need to do to protect your information! The most recent one I’ve seen is a Costco coupon that gives you $41 off a purchase of $50 or more. On the surface, it looks completely legit! When you click the link… which by the way does not go to an actual costco.com address (it only pretends too, pay attention to the word right before the final .com THAT is the actual domain, you can put anything you want before your actual domain… like I could use costco.com.familytechzone.com)…you are directed to a “survey” if you take the survey you can win the coupon. The thing is, everyone wins. Then you allow it access to your Facebook to “share” your good fortune and get your coupon. I promise Costco will not honor your “coupon”.
Especially through Facebook, once you have granted them access to your account, it doesn’t actually matter if you change your password or not. They still have access to your account until you manually revoke it. The good news is that it’s easy to revoke, and probably a good idea to check out which apps have access to your account on a regular basis.
To find out what has access, and remove it, you need to click on the down arrow at the top right of your Facebook page. This is best done on a computer and not a mobile device.
When the menu drops down select “Settings”.
When your Facebook settings appear, click on the word “Apps” that appears on the left-hand side. What will appear now is all of the applications you have ever allowed access to your Facebook account. You may be seriously surprised at how many apps there are. That sweepstakes you entered 5 years ago… yep, it’s here. The to-do list application you thought would work for you, but didn’t end up working… yep, it’s here. The scam you fell for today…. that is here too. As you move your mouse over the various applications you can click the “x” that appears and remove the application’s access to your account.
Once you have removed the scam application from the ability to access your Facebook page, you should also change your password. This is also in the Settings page you are already looking at. Click on “Security and Login” at the top and about halfway down the page is the section to change your password. While you are here, it’s also a great idea to turn on multi-factor authentication. This means that if someone tries to access your Facebook account, you will get a text with a code to enter to allow access. Even though it can be a pain at times, it’s a great way to protect your account even further.
Next time you see something on Facebook that appears too good to be true, it probably is and keep on scrolling.
This post may contain affiliate links, which means I receive compensation if you make a purchase using the links.
Sarah Kimmel is a digital parenting coach and family tech expert. She has spent the last 16 years of her career as a Microsoft Certified IT Manager supporting over 100 small businesses. During that time she started Family Tech LLC to help families understand and manage the technology in their home. She has regularly appeared as a family tech expert on KSL News, BYUtv and Studio 5, and has been invited all over the world from tech companies like Lenovo, Verizon, Microsoft, Dell, and Samsung. Find out more on her website SarahKimmel.com