There are various websites that pose as social networking platforms to trick users. Some unsuspecting users promote the website to their family members, friends, and acquaintances. This may be harmless at first, but after a few days, the symptoms will manifest themselves. The reality is that these purported “social networking” sites are in fact spam sites which will send automated messages to your email address as well as to your contacts in your address book. A certain website sends a message to a user, using the name of a person who is familiar to the user. The first user then clicks on the link, thinking that the message was sent by the second user, when in fact, it was sent through the “social networking” site. The first user gives out his personal information and once that is completed, the “social networking” site then starts to multiply itself by promoting its messages through the first user’s address book. The cycle continues, so unless the first user warns his contacts in time, the damage has already been done.
The impact of these “social networking sites” may be trivial, but the danger is that these spam sites will continue to flourish and propagate their messages in the form of generic greetings. A graver problem is that the said “social networking” site will start sending malware or viruses in its messages. The problem posed by these “social networking” sites is not only an area of concern for ordinary email users, but also for leading technology companies as well as social media platforms. For the ordinary user, he can do his part by securing his email account and regularly changing his password. If necessary, he will utilize all available security features on his email account to protect himself. He can revoke the access of these unwanted apps and permanently block them from accessing his email address. He can also mark their messages as “spam” to prevent these messages from being sent to his inbox. For the technology companies, they will have to help the ordinary consumer by taking action on his concerns. As long as a group or community of users mark a site as “spam,” that will invite the technology company to take action against the erring site by blocking access, partial or total, to its services. For the social media platforms, they must filter the messages sent by these sites and mark them as “spam.”
Most of these so-called “social networking” sites will do nothing except send spam, since the user has already been made aware of its modus operandi. To prevent these spam sites from propagating, the user must exert all efforts to protect his email account, as well as being vigilant not to trust any message from any third-party website. Even if the message purportedly comes from a trusted family member or friend, if it was sent through a third-party intermediary, the message is more likely to be suspect. If by any chance you have accessed the site and gave out your information, you can prevent any further damage from happening by immediately securing your account and revoking access to the app.