January 5, 2012

Beware of scams related to Facebook Timeline!


First it was the Cheesecake Factory; now, it’s Timeline. Facebook, like many other social networking companies, is experiencing some user dissatisfaction, and scammers are taking advantage of anti-Timeline sentiment. According to Insidefacebook, scammers are creating pages that assure the public that by “liking” the page, watching the linked video, downloading a certain browser application, or inviting their friends to the page, they will be allowed to opt out of Timeline. 

These pages all ask readers to "Like" the account, and some even ask them to subscribe. Some pages ask readers to install a browser application; Google Chrome and Firefox are common targets of such scams. Though some Facebook pages may look harmless, remember that being cautious is the best way to prevent potential data loss. 

Timeline was introduced by Mark Zuckerberg during the F8 developer conference. There, he announced that the beta version of the interface would be available to Facebook users on September 22nd.  

So, what is Timeline? Facebook engineers implemented an algorithm that gathers all of your Facebook activity and organizes it based on what it deems important: your birth, high school graduation, first job, wedding, special events, and so on. The Timeline profile page is divided into two columns that contain recent photos, games, posts, and other activity. Since the algorithm decides what is relevant and what is not, there is a chance an event or a post you think is relevant might not show up in Timeline.  But fear not, the new page layout will allow editing so that users can manually change what information is shared or deemed important.  

Facebook employee Paul McDonald explains that Timeline allows users to add details of their lives before Facebook was created, providing an easy way to rediscover things once shared in real life. You have seven days to review and modify the timeline before it goes live and anyone else can see it.  

As long as Facebook remains the top social networking site, scammers will use new and innovative methods to try to steal and exploit user information, but rest assured that ACE  (Advanced Classification Engine) protects our customers from such scams.


Forcepoint-authored blog posts are based on discussions with customers and additional research by our content teams.

Read more articles by Forcepoint

About Forcepoint

Forcepoint is the leading user and data protection cybersecurity company, entrusted to safeguard organizations while driving digital transformation and growth. Our solutions adapt in real-time to how people interact with data, providing secure access while enabling employees to create value.