Online criminals and troublemakers often exploit popular Web sites for their own gains, and Hi5 isn't exempt from these issues. As with all online activities, you should be vigilant about protecting your computer and your identity when using Hi5.
Phishing scams often originate via e-mail and attempt to ply personal information from unsuspecting victims. One so-called phishing scam targets Hi5 members, who are baited with a friend request notification in their e-mail inbox. They're told to enter their member name and password to accept a new friend, but unfortunately, it's a setup. If you enter your login information, you won't make a connection to a new friend; instead, you're unknowingly giving your password to people running the scam. With your password, they can log into your account and see your personal information and use it for nefarious purposes.
Scam e-mails often look like legitimate requests, but you can avoid them by following a few rules. For one, never submit your password or other personal information as a response to e-mail requests. And if you're suspicious of a request you receive, listen to your intuition and do a little online research before you enter any information. Many common scams are well-documented online and you can avoid them withy a quick keyword search.
There are other ways to identify phishing scams that specificall target Hi5 members. The fake Hi5 e-mails have graphics and logos similar to those from the real Web site, but there are significant differences. If you carefully examine the e-mail, you'll see that not all of the links (such as the one that supposedly leads to a new member registration form) don't work. If you do enter your login information, you'll find that the links don't lead to a Hi5.com login page, but rather totally different domain name, which is a clear sign that someone is trying to fool you.
If you do find that you've fallen victim to a Hi5 phishing scam, all is not lost. Log into your Hi5 account as soon as possible and change your password so that unauthorized individuals can't snoop around in your personal information. With a little caution, you'll be using your Hi5 account safely and with few risks to your personal details.
For more on social networking sites, take a look at the links below.
Related HowStuffWorks Articles
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- Schwartz, Eric Hal. "RealGames Gets New Distributor." Seattle Post-Intelligencer. July 15, 2009. (July 22, 2009)http://www.seattlepi.com/xconomy/408162_xconomy33605.html
- Smith, Steve. "Can Content Sell Games?" Minonline. July 16, 2009. (July 22, 2009)http://www.minonline.com/news/Can-Content-Sell-Games_11577.html
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- Websense Security Labs. "Hi5 'Add Friend' Malicious Spam." Dec. 10, 2008. (July 22, 2009)http://securitylabs.websense.com/content/Alerts/3205.aspx