Look for these red flags that tell you an application on Facebook is likely going to spam your friends for you. It’s so easy to think these “look official” because they use brand names and high-quality graphics to make you think the offer comes directly from the company. I’ve learned this from first-hand experience, it’s easy to be fooled but you have to learn from the experience. If you accidentally approve a spammy app, remove it as soon as possible and check your wall for anything it may have posted for you so you can delete it.
Red Flag #1: Asks to “Access posts in my News Feed”
Don’t grant access to your news feed unless it’s needed for interacting with Facebook from another program (like Photobucket). You don’t want other people posting things for you without your knowledge. If you grant access and the application’s purpose is to spam, all of your friends will start receiving the same comment from you on their latest status update. These comments link directly to the application, encouraging more people to accept it creating a viral spamming campaign.
Red Flag #2: Question the Source, Is it Real?
You can’t tell by the name, that’s because the spammers use brand names to sound “official”. And you can’t tell by the graphics (it’s easy to make something look official with graphics). Go to the brand name’s official website, then get to their official Facebook page from their website. Is this offer posted on their official Fan page? If not, it’s probably not the real thing. I know there are some exceptions where the application looks spammy but is official (i.e. free product coupon for Pringles Xtreme). But it’s a great idea to wait until the official Fan page confirms that it’s a real offer (don’t hesitate to ask them).
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