Whether because they share too much, because they send links and applications that you are not interested in, because you don't know for real who they are, or because they are too passionate about their opinions, there are some online ‘friends’ that you should keep away from.
Tomorrow we will celebrate the International Day of Friendship, which was proclaimed by the UN in 2011. In celebration of that event, we want to help you distinguish the true friends from the annoying and sometimes undesirable contacts.
Pay close attention to these four profiles to learn how to identify them.
#1 The easy-clickers
They fall for – almost – every scam that goes around on Facebook; they can't resist the temptation to click on every shocking piece of news or see every striking video.
Many of us use social networks to keep informed, to stay in touch with friends and share content with them.
We are not implying that clicking is wrong – that is what links are supposed to be there for. However, the easy-clickers are the victims of deceptions, such as Win a free iPhone 6 or Ray-Ban glasses 90% off.
Thus, they end up unintentionally spreading fake posts and misleading websites that only want to steal information or generate revenue for scammers.
#2 The unwitting malware propagators
Not only do they share the clicking anxiety of ‘the easy-clickers’, but they end up becoming victims of even more malicious threats.
For example, the threat detected by ESET as JS/Kilim.SO and JS/Kilim.RG spreads through Facebook via malicious links claiming to deliver intimate videos.
They either post links to the victim's timeline and tag friends, or send via private messages with titles such as "My First Video," "My Video" or "Private video".
People who click on the links are redirected to a fake YouTube site where they are asked to download a supposedly necessary plugin to view the video, which in turn compromises the computer.
You see that being curious, and forgetting to ask yourself these questions before accessing a link, can cause a wave of malware in Facebook.
#3 The over-sharers
Also known as "the enemies of privacy", the ‘over-sharers’ are the ones who reveal everything on their social networks.
What they ate, with whom and where; how much they like a TV series; the problems faced at work; how upset they are with the current government – these are their daily publications, interrupted only by a new photo via Instagram with their partner or friends.
That’s not to say it’s wrong to let people know a bit about who you are and the life you live, as, after all, this is one of the benefits of social networks. However, it pays to be cautious about how much you reveal.
When people share personal information in excess, they are over-sharing. In addition to being annoying for their contacts, this can be considered a privacy and security risk because, when planning an attack, cybercriminals will take advantage of data published by over-sharers.
The more you reveal, the more exposed you will be. If you recognize over-sharers in your environment, you should tell them to follow these tips to enjoy social networks without exposing themselves.
#4 The excessive online game invitations senders
Do you remember the enthusiasm for Candy Crush, when all your Facebook contacts compulsively sent requests for you to join in or to send them lives? This game marked a turning point – it showed that for many players it is difficult to resist the urge to pass a level.
The matter reached the ears of Mark Zuckerberg, founder and CEO of Facebook, during a Q&A session in October 2015.
He admitted that Facebook used outdated tools that allowed people to send invitations to users who have never played a game in the past, and don't play games on Facebook.
Then, he promised to solve the problem and it seems that the fever for this has lessened since then.
However, it did not disappear completely. Other games have joined Candy Crush as the most addictive and we all have some Facebook contacts that will do whatever it takes to complete a level, even if it means sending repeated requests.
The exception: The well-behaved
Social networks are part of our daily surfing habits and, for younger generations, they are probably the main reason to connect to the internet.
Conscious users, who protect their privacy and follow good practices, will use social media in the most appropriate way to leverage their communicational potential and the opportunity to create, read and share content instantly.
The well-behaved are those who clearly know what the risks are and how to avoid them (by following, for example, these tips on securing social network accounts).
Now that you know these profiles, celebrate the International Day of Friendship with your true friends and get rid of those annoying contacts.