Posts Tagged ‘facebook’

Free Subway gift card spam spreading on Facebook

Published by pratyushkp on May 12th, 2011 - in Social, Technology

Sophos  received a number of questions from Facebook fans of Sophos regarding messages that have spread across the social network claiming to offer a $100 gift card for the Subway sandwich chain.

Here’s a typical message:

Subway Facebook message

Free Subway Gift Cards - Limited Time

Get Your Free Subway Gift Card Now! Click for Details

So, what’s going on here? Well, the first thing to realise is that it’s not something endorsed by Subway.

Although the link you click through to has no qualms about using Subway’s logo, and images of meals you can purchase at Subway, it’s actually from an independent third party company.

Subway gift card webpage

Many people will probably be so keen to receive $100 worth of Subway meals that they won’t read the small print at the bottom of the page:

The above listed merchants or brands in no way endorse or sponsor's offer and are not liable for any alleged or actual claims related to this offer. The above listed trademarks and service marks are the marks of their respective owners. is solely responsible for all Gift fulfillment. In order to receive your gift you must: (1) Meet the eligibility requirements (2) complete the rewards bonus survey (3) complete a total of 5 Sponsor Offers as stated in the Gift Rules (4) not cancel your participation in more than a total of 2 Sponsor Offers within 30 days of any Sponsor Offer Sign-Up Date as outlined in the Gift Rules (the Cancellation Limit) and (5) follow the redemption instructions.

The pages ask you some simple and apparently harmless questions: are you male or female, which age group do you fall into, etc.. before asking for your email address.

Subway gift card spam wants your email address

At this point the page tells you that you must post the message onto your Facebook page in order to qualify for the free $100 Subway gift card.

In this way the message is spread virally to your Facebook friends.

But there’s still no sign of your free Subway gift card, because the site now wants you to hand over much more personal information, including your name, address, email address, full date of birth, cellphone and telephone number etc.

Form asks for your personal details

Again, notice that the webpage doesn’t seem to have any issue with using the Subway logo – despite not being affiliated with Subway. Clearly this is done in an attempt to trick Facebook users into believing that they are talking directly to the high street brand.

According to the small print, you’ll have to complete multiple “sponsor offers” before they will even consider sending you a gift card – which may cost you both in time and money, but also the sheer treasure trove of personal information you will have handed over.

Sophos advice? Avoid these “offers” as they’re unlikely to ever prove fruitful, and may result in you handing over a wealth of data about yourself to complete strangers. When you agree to post a message about such gift cards on Facebook, you are putting your online friends at risk of having their privacy damaged too.

Source :-

  • WIN A $50 Gift card to Earth Fare! (
  • AMP 150 $25 Gift Card Giveaway (
  • Win a $100 CVS/pharmacy Gift Card and Taylor Swift’s Album! (
  • Win a $25 Amazon Gift Card Today Only! (
  • Ask The Readers: Do You Buy In Bulk? (
  • Gift cards are so impersonal. (
  • Plum District, get at $10 Target gift card today! (
  • Plum District: FREE $20 Target Gift Card – HURRY (
  • Hipsters Are Destroying New York, Claims Subway Rag (
  • Free Subway gift card spam spreading on Facebook (
Tags: , , , , , , Sponsor (commercial), Subway

7.5 Million Facebook Users Are Younger Than 13

Published by pratyushkp on May 11th, 2011 - in Social, Technology
Image representing Facebook as depicted in Cru...

Image via CrunchBase

Some 7.5 million Facebook users over the past year were younger than 13, according to a Consumer Reportssurvey.

The report, made public on Tuesday, is based on a survey of 2,089 members of a TNS interactive consumer panel. Using that sample, the magazine was able to estimate that more than 5 million Facebook users are 10 years old and younger, making up the bulk of the 7.5 million figure. Facebook’s terms of service require users to be at least 13 years old. To join, though, users merely have to enter their supposed birth dates when they sign up.

But Facebook’s screening requirements for minors may be a moot topic. In a statement, Jeff Fox, technology editor for Consumer Reports, said the majority of parents of kids 10 and under “seemed largely unconcerned by their children’s use of the site.”

Reps from Facebook could not be reached for comment.

This isn’t the first time Facebook’s policies on minors have been called into question. A class action suit filed in August in Los Angeles alleged that Facebook’s “Like” button triggered instances in which minors were endorsing products without their parents’ consent.

Source :-

  • Five million Facebook users are 10 or younger (
  • Facebook had 7.5 million U.S. users under the age of 13: Survey (
  • 15 percent of adult Facebook users falsify personal info (
  • Millions of kids under 10 on Facebook, says Consumer Reports (
  • Survey: 7.5 million Facebook users below minimum age (
  • REPORT: 5 Million Facebookers Are Below Age 11 (
  • Survey: 7.5M Facebook users below minimum age (
  • @ FOX: Survey: 7.5M Kids on Facebook Are at Risk – Officials: Social Sites Increase Police Vulnerability (
  • Five million Facebook users are under age 11, how many play games? (
  • 5 million users experienced abuse on Facebook (

Lady Gaga & Zynga Found GagaVille

Published by pratyushkp on May 11th, 2011 - in Social, Technology
Image representing Zynga as depicted in CrunchBase

Image via CrunchBase

Two social media heavyweights — Lady Gaga and Zynga — will partner for GagaVille, an offshoot of FarmVille.

GagaVille, a uniquely designed neighboring farm to FarmVille, that sports unicorns and crystals, according to Zynga, launches May 17. GagaVille visitors will get a first listen to unreleased songs from Gaga’s album Born This Way, available May 23. The full album also comes bundled as a free download when you buy a $25 Zynga game card at Best Buy.

The deal also includes a “Words With Gaga” contest in Zynga’s mobile Words With Friends game. Playing the designated Gaga word of the day — which will be announced on Gaga’s Facebook Page each day — will give players the chance to win concert tickets and a signed copy of Born This Way. Zynga is also giving players limited edition Lady Gaga virtual items on RewardVille that can be used across Zynga games.

Such a deal had been predicted after Gaga and Zynga collaborated on an earthquake relief effort for Japan in March. Last month, The Wall Street Journal reported that Zynga and Gaga were in discussions about a tie-in effort.

Source :-

  • Lady Gaga & Zynga Found GagaVille (
  • Zynga Bringing Lady Gaga To ‘FarmVille’ with ‘GagaVille’ (
  • Lady Gaga Joins Forces With Zynga (
  • Cityville,Farmville,Lady Gaga, Gagaville,Coming to Zynga (
  • Cityville Lady Gaga, Gagaville, Coming to Zynga (
  • Zynga, Lady Gaga, bring GagaVille to FarmVille: Clash of the ‘Villes (
  • Zynga, Lady Gaga Launch Massive Cross-Promotion That Spans FarmVille, Words With Friends (
  • Zynga teams up with Lady Gaga through GagaVille (
  • Welcome To GagaVille! (
  • Lady Gaga Teaming up with Farmville for Born This Way | News (
Tags: Born This Way, , , , , Music download, ,

For Top News Sites, Facebook Drives More Traffic Than Twitter

Published by pratyushkp on May 10th, 2011 - in Social, Technology
Image representing Facebook as depicted in Cru...

Image via CrunchBase

Facebook is a more valuable source of traffic to top news sites than Twitter, according a Pew Research Center study released Monday.

The study looked at Nielsen data from the 25 news websites with the highest number of unique monthly visitors. About 35% to 40% of traffic to the sites came from links on other sites, as opposed to readers typing in a URL directly or clicking to another page on the same site.

Unsurprisingly, Google dominated this referral traffic. On average, the company’s search and news products accounted for about 30% of all clicks. But Facebook also referred a significant percentage of each site’s audience.

The Huffington Post was boosted the most by Facebook referrals, which accounted for 8% of its unique visitors. The New York Times derived 6% of its traffic from the social network.

“These percentages represent only a fraction of the traffic coming from Google,” says the study. “But they make Facebook an influential and probably growing force. As Nielsen’s numbers show, few domains affect audiences this much.”

For all its success at breaking news, Twitter did not have the same effect. The site with the highest percentage of traffic from Twitter, The Los Angeles Times, could only credit the micro-blogging platform with 3.53% of its traffic. Twitter referred a much smaller percentage of traffic to other sites in the study.

Part of the discrepancy between Facebook and Twitter referrals is their disparate user bases. Facebook has more than 500 million users while Twitter has 200 million accounts — many of them inactive.

But referral clout is not just a question of user numbers. The Drudge Report, a veteran news aggregation site, was the second or third ranked referral site to more than half of the sites studied. For example, the Drudge Report provided more than 30% of traffic to British newspaper The Daily Mail, 19% of traffic to the New York Post, 15% to The Washington Post, and 11% to the Boston Globe.

 Source :-

  • For Top News Sites, Facebook Drives More Traffic Than Twitter [STATS] (
  • Surprise: The Drudge Report Drives More Top News Traffic than Twitter or Facebook (
  • Drudge Report Sends More Traffic Than Facebook or Twitter to Some News Sites (
  • Facebook having an impact on online news more so than Twitter (
  • Facebook sharing sending readers to big news sites (
  • STUDY: Facebook Sharing Sending Readers To Big News Sites (
  • Facebook’s growing influence on the spread of news (
  • Drudge Generates More News Traffic Than Social Media (
  • Facebook, Twitter Influencing The News (
  • How To Solve The Online News Riddle? Turn “Casual Users” Into “Power Users” (

How Mother’s Day Facebook celebrations can lead to identity theft

Published by pratyushkp on May 9th, 2011 - in Social, Technology
Image representing Facebook as depicted in Cru...

Image via CrunchBase

A couple of weeks ago Sophos explained why you shouldn’t reveal your Royal Wedding guest name. Now Sophos have to warn you that celebrating Mother’s Day can lead to you giving away too much personal information about your children.

Here’s a message which has been passed around on Facebook for a few days:

In honor of Mother's Day...If you are a proud mother re post with the name, birth date, & birth weight of your child/children!

Mother's Day post on Facebook

See what they’ve done? They’ve told me the name of their children and their precise date of birth. And I’m not even friends with them, they’ve left their profiles open for the entire world to see because they haven’t followed best practice guidelines for Facebook privacy settings.

And – don’t forget – when you share a piece of information with everyone on Facebook, that actually means the entire internet for ever. This information by itself may not be enough to commit identity theft against your child, but it’s a stepping stone for fraudsters which can help them.

You shouldn’t post this kind of personal information onto the internet – tell people you love your children and are proud of them without revealing their full names or dates of birth.

If you use Facebook and want to learn more about threats, you should join the Sophos Facebook page where we have a thriving community of over 80,000 people.

Source :-

  • What Would TV Do? Mother’s Day Edition (
  • ‘Happy Mother’s Day’ From Child Fund International (
  • My Mother’s Day (
  • PHOTOS: New Celeb Moms Celebrating Their First Mother’s Day (
  • Happy Mother’s Day from Mama Raider to All Raiders’ Mothers (
  • Happy Mother’s Day (
  • Happy Mother’s Day to Our Favorite Fit Celebrity Moms! (
  • Identity Theft (
  • Epic Meal of the (Mother’s) Day (
  • How Mother’s Day Facebook celebrations can lead to identity theft (
Tags: Birth mass, , Child, , Identity theft, , , Royal Wedding
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