| Internet and Social Networking Safety Advice On Lisa Hill's Real Estate Blog
FOR YOUR OWN SAFETY, READ THIS ENTIRE POST BEFORE GETTING AHEAD OF YOURSELF AND TYPING IN ANY URL'S!!!
I literally just got a message a few minutes ago, from one of my long-term Facebook friends, asking if I'd heard about the company I'm about the mention. Bear in mind though... this is ONLY a Facebook (and Twitter) friend! Regardless, it's someone who's been in my friends' list for a long time, and I've interracted with this person on several other forums. He's always seemed like any other person I've run across on the internet.... and yes, I have a lot of "internet-only friends" (Thanks to Web 2.0). But bear in mind, when Twitter came along, strangers starting crawling out of the woodwork! And as a REALTOR®, I figured if people wanted to follow me, let them! I DO NOT automatically follow back! But this person did manage to make it into my Facebook friends as well... albeit, on a "Limited View" (did you know you can setup friend "lists" on Facebook, and control how much they see about you?).
Side note: Beware of Facebook's New Privacy Settings! (or lack thereof) Definitely read this article! (FYI: Unfortunately, The Lists are Still Open to 3rd Party Viewing!) I may write another post about this.... MOVING ON!...
Anyway, a little while ago I got an e-mail from this person, asking if I'd heard about BINSSERVICESSTORE. INFO. (Keep reading before you get antsy and decide to type in that link!) That's how it was typed, and that's pretty much all he asked. I responded that I had not heard of it and left it at that. But I did check it out. First I Googled the name which didn't give much info, then I trepidaciously typed in the URL, minus the blank that had been left in the original message.
The story on that site sounded fantastic! But being the skeptic that I am, instead of just following the links at the bottom of the page, I decided to Google the business names instead.... HELLO!
If any of you gets a message like this... and it's probable that this person is a plant, who was able to hang around for months before saying a word (perhaps to gain my trust?)... DO NOT just follow the links and think it's a great idea. As I read the promo story (including picture of family, and MY OWN home town named!) I realized I had received phone calls that sounded very much like what was being promoted. So I Googled the names on the embedded links, instead of just following them. The results were astounding... pages of complaints about this so-called "Google service".
I'm NOT going to give you the link to the site (you can type it in yourself if you're curious) and I'm also NOT going to give you the links that are on the site. I don't want to encourage anyone to go clicking around... you may end up with a virus or worm of some type. Instead, here are some of the results I found when I Googled the embedded names, instead of clicking on them...
(BTW, my anti-virus software puts a green check beside links that are safe for me to click, if I do the search through Google!)
Easy Google Profit (supposedly working for Google... NOT!)
- Here's result number one
- Here's result number two
- Blah, Blah, Blah: hundreds of warnings!
- Result number 4 did NOT have a "safe" green check-mark beside it....
And the list goes on. There's another name/link embedded in the original post that I also Googled seperately. The results were the same.
Feel free to do your own search(es). Just DO NOT follow the links from within the site. The site itself looks VERY legitimate on the surface! It looks just like a newspaper page, including links down the side-bar. But it should be treated the same way you treat the e-mails you get that are supposedly from your bank/phone company/credit card company, etc....
CLOSE the page, then go to your own bookmark(s), or type the URL in by yourself. Then proceed with caution, always keeping an eye on that URL. Because even when I typed in the first URL I placed in this post, it changed when the page opened, and it routed to another URL!
Don't be a sucker. Be careful, and don't follow embedded links in anything. And for crying out loud, make sure you have good anti-virus software!