This is not groundbreaking news. The internet is chock full of spam, spambots, phish, scams, viruses, and more. We all know (or should know) the basic rules. Don't click on links you don't expect, even if they're from your friends. Don't download stuff unless you know the source is reputable, and most of all, don't install stuff ever unless you know exactly what it is, who it's from, and what it will do. In a nutshell, don't interact with anything or anyone unless you know exactly that the consequences will be for you, your device, and those of others.
Sadly though, the social media world is based entirely on social interaction. The whole point is to interact. Poking, friending, liking, sharing, tagging, posting and pinning are all interactions. Interesting article? Click. Amazing story? Click. Birthday greetings? Click. All day long, morning noon night, click click click.
Our SPAM awareness is eroded by the nature of social sites and our need to connect with others. And so it is of no surprise that spammers are taking advantage of this left and right. Newcomers like Pinterest are quickly discovering how wide open they are to spam attacks, with a few individuals flooding the boards with merchandise for personal gain (thanks to Amazon referral programs). Facebook has always had its fair share of spammy posts, accounts, and apps. Even iTunes' app store lets a spam app through every now and then. The latest instance being Syn from 'Falkor, Inc'.
Under the pretense of 'syncing' all your friends' data from Facebook with your iPhone/iPad Address Book - Syn first and foremost grabs all your friends' data, and then spams them all with more Syn advertising. The payoff? Unwary recipients not only clicking on the Syn recommendation from their friends, but also even buying the app ($1) on the iTunes app store. For a full account of how it works, follow this link to mobtest.
The point here however, is the same as before. Beware of anything and everything that is sent your way unexpectantly. It's not just your email inbox being deluged with SPAM, it's also every social media tool you log on to. When it comes to safeguarding your data, not to mention your friendships, it's always better to err on the side of caution.
When in doubt, the quickest way to verify the veracity of any offer, is to jump away from your social media page, hit Google, and do some research on the advertised link. If it sounds iffy, then 9 out of 10 times it is. Better safe than sorry.