Facebook, if a stranger tags you in a video it could be a virus

The threat of tags from unknown contacts on Facebook is real, because it could be viruses that infect your account and your device: how to defend yourself

Clicking and opening a video on Facebook in which you receive a tag from a stranger is not a good idea. Often a virus is hiding behind the link or video, and once it has infected your device and duplicated your account, it will start tagging strangers to continue spreading.

The problem of tagging on Facebook is getting more and more serious, with reports of phishing attempts, malware spreading and viruses increasing every day. Cyber criminals exploit one of the features offered by the social network to increase interactions and contacts: the ability to tag in their posts not only people in the Friends list, but also profiles unknown to them. This type of virus once activated starts to create chain letters without the knowledge of the infected person, tagging in turn dozens of unknown contacts. To defend themselves against these hacker attacks, Facebook users can choose to disable the stranger tag feature: here's how to do it.

Viruses on Facebook: How they spread through stranger tags

The strategy is always the same: the user is invited through the use of Facebook tags to click on a link to a video, perhaps with a catchy title, from a person they don't know. Behind the link, however, is malware or a virus that can infect the device, be it a smartphone or a PC, and steal the credentials and personal information of the unfortunate social network user.

This way, cyber criminals are able to duplicate or access the profile, in turn sending tags to unknown people with the same link to the video. Usually, the malware spreads by sending a dozen tags from the infected person's profile and so on to anyone who opens the video containing the virus. A sort of chain reaction that can reach thousands of people in a short time.

The threat is actually even more serious if the tags are sent by contacts who are on the Friends list, because often those who steal their profiles also send comments to entice the unlucky ones to open the link. And so the virus continues to spread in the social network.

Virus from Facebook tags: how to defend yourself

To defend themselves from viruses in Facebook tags, users have a few strategies at their disposal. The first one that is effective in any situation is to not open links and videos that have suspicious titles. For example, a link that promises to make easy money in a few clicks: it will be good to be wary of the clickbait title and move on, perhaps even reporting it to the platform.

Be careful with suspicious links that are reported through tags defends users both in case they come from strangers, and from contacts in the Friends list.

The other solution to defend against video tags from strangers is to change the notification settings of your Facebook profile. The social network allows users to disable tag notifications that are sent by strangers and receive only those from the Friends list or at most Friends of Friends.

To do so, you need to open the Settings and Privacy>Settings>Notifications>Tag page. In the section Receive Notifications when tagged you can choose between Everyone, Friends of Friends and Friends: select the last option to stop receiving tags from strangers. Then in the section Where do you receive these notifications, among the options Push, Email and SMS, check the Yes on Push only: the notification will arrive only when you open the social network.