Friday, April 27, 2012

When You Use Pinterest, Make Sure the Spammers Aren’t Pinning You.

Webnotes taken by: Theresa Payton, Fortalice LLC. Content also featured on WBTV’s Protecting Your Cyberturf Segment featuring Kristen Miranda and Theresa Payton
I received inquiries recently about spam and other suspicious activity on the fun social networking site of interests called “Pinterest”.   People were complaining to about obvious spam and pins with strange links.  Consumer reporter, Kristen Miranda, is with us tonight to explain.  

We all know that when a site gets popular the bad guys flock there.  Well, Pinterest is very popular...some say downright addictive...which means the spammers and scammers are moving in.  One spammer said during an interview that he is making $1000 a day on Pinterest just sending out spam.  But you don’t have to get pinned down by the spammers and scanners.  WBTV’s cyber expert Theresa Payton has some tips.

1.  Spammers may create a pin on a popular topic and then tag your name in the message
2.  This tag might get you or your friends to click on a link in the pin which then serves up spam or leads them to a malicious software site

1.  Research: If you get an email notice that someone is following you, do your research and look at their pins on their board
2.  Ratio of Following to Followers:  Look for telltale signs like they have very few followers but they are only following a few people
3.  Mismatched Topics:  Does the board title match the pins?  
4.  Report it!:  Use the “Report Pin” button on Pinterest to report spam or anything suspicious
5. is the only Pinterest website:  Don’t trust other variations of the website name

FLASHBACK TROJAN:  this is the name of the recent virus infecting Macs.  You can fight back against Flashback by making sure you have updated your Mac’s operating system to the latest version.  F-Secure has instructions on how to see if you have the virus and on how to remove it.


Pinterest Support Page to Report Problems:

Pinterest Blog Post on How to Avoid Spam:

Interview with the Pinterest spammer:

Flashback Trojan remove at F-Secure:

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