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Better Business Bureau: Facebook Security Guide

Aug. 27, 2011 at 3:27 a.m.


By Alan Bligh

At last, at last. Facebook has at last released its first official security guide, a long overdue handbook to help the social media giant's half-billion fans understand, recognize and avoid the multitude of scams they face every day. With headers such as "Avoiding malicious script scam," "Avoiding Facebook account thieves," and "Avoiding gaming scams," the 14-page "Own Your Space" guide is full of not just suggestions, but detailed directions on how best to navigate Facebook without falling through any number of dangerous holes. The instructions include how to identify and avoid clickjacking scams, how to use social authentication and how to report and block impostors, are advice everyone needs to heed. You may download the guide by using your browser and enter "facebook own your own space." Find and click on the link (which is quite long). This is certainly a good move for Facebook, but I just wish it was easier to find.

'Grant Writer' gripes

Seeking a grant? Better Business Bureau warns that Worldwide Asset Management out of Oregon doesn't deliver promised funds to clients. The alleged "Grant Writer," has acquired 21 unanswered complaints since January. BBB has also received more than 3,000 inquiries. Complainants - which are mostly business owners - describe the same sad story: Worldwide Asset Management contacted them regarding "pre-approved" grant money and then convinced them to pay thousands of dollars in up-front fees for application processing or business plan assistance. Ultimately, the company failed to follow-through or respond to its BBB complaints. Remember: Don't pay for "free" grants. And don't pay for lists of grant opportunities. A great source for finding a legitimate grant source is www.grants.gov.

Beware phony BBB address

BBB reminds local business owners that all email correspondence from our office will come from a valid bbb.org address. Currently, an email from "bbbupdate@post.com" is circulating to businesses nationwide requesting verification and validation of a BBB rating review. The phony email address appears to originate from the Atlanta, Ga. metro area stating the following: "Our data shows a pending rating or review about you or your business. Derogatory/Negative reviews or ratings can have an impact on your business profile and become permanently visible to customers, clients, vendors and agencies. Contact our notification department immediately." Should your business receive the above email, please disregard.

Take care in online complaints

A word of caution. You had better choose your words carefully if you're the type who likes to post a product or service gripe online. While you may feel you are simply exercising your right to free speech, not everyone feels that way. Indeed, you could be opening yourself up to a lawsuit, says Consumer Reports. According to Consumer Reports Money Adviser, some companies and professionals fight back against online complaints by suing the folks responsible for the nasty comments. And posting anonymously won't necessarily protect you. The offended party can often still come after you, claims the non-profit publication. Some companies go after consumers with cases they know they can't win simply to discourage others from posting complaints.

Alan Bligh is the executive director of the Better Business Bureau in Corpus Christi. Contact him by email at abligh@corpuschristi.bbb.org.

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