If you see a link on Facebook that offers to let you change the color of your profile page, don’t click it. This color-changing profile app is a scam that will actually infect your computer with malware. Here’s what you need to know.
1. The Profile Color Change Offer Is Fake
Some Facebook users are seeing an option to change their profile page’s color. However, this is not a legit Facebook feature, but is actually malware. The fake app, called “Facebook color changer,” claims to give users the chance to make their Facebook profile more colorful, but will instead direct users to phishing sites. Information Week notes that one address people are supposedly being directed to is “apps.facebook.com/themsandcolors”.
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2. This Color Changing Malware Scam Isn’t a New Threat
— LoveUselessKnowledge (@LovUseKnow) August 8, 2014
This has been around for a couple of years, with Mashable reporting on the malware back in 2012. During the 2012 appearance of this scam, possible Facebook profile page colors included red, pink, or black…but the newer appearances of this malware offered additional colors. The scam also seems to have made an appearance last year.
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3. 10,000 Users Were Reportedly Infected During The Latest ‘Outbreak’
Mashable has reported that 10,000 Facebook users have been taken in by the color-changing profile scam, at least during this month’s most recent “outbreak” of the malware. It is not clear how many thousands of people have been infected in the past few years through the various re-surfacings of this malware app.
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4. You Can Take Precautions Against Malware Infection
Information Week has a few suggestions for what to do if you’ve been taken in by this malware scam:
“If you’ve already been infected by this malware, change your password immediately and remove the color changer app from your account. To change your password, visit your account settings and click the Privacy tab. Click Edit next to the Password option…
You can also download free antimalware scanning software from Facebook…If you’re infected, you’ll see a pop-up notification prompting you to download either F-Secure’s malware scanning and cleanup technology or HouseCall from Trend Micro.”
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5. Facebook Is Full of Other Malware Threats
There are many other malware threats on Facebook. The Guardian recently ran a good article that ran down some of the most infamous ways people have been lured into malware or phishing sites through Facebook, including a supposed Rihanna sex tape and a fake app that lets you see who has been viewing your profile recently. Funny enough, the “change your profile color” scam seems to have attracted more attention than the Rihanna sex tape.
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