In the last week or so, I’ve become VERY popular on Twitter. People who usually never talk to me are sending me cryptic private messages, filling up my inbox with whispered secrets.
“ROFL, is this YOU in this video? http://clickhere.com.”
“I think I’m smarter than you, take the IQ challenge here. http://youareamoron.com.”
“I’m making $400 a day on Twitter, click here to find out how. http://noreallyclickitsfun.com.”
“I like to call sweat pants buffet pants.”
Well, the last one was a real message. But the other three, all of which I received 30 billion times each, were all spam direct messages, not sent to me by friends, but by internet hoodlums who had gotten a hold of my friends’ Twitter accounts. How’d it happen? They got the same spam message in their inbox, got curious about the link, and GAVE AWAY THEIR PASSWORD.
Seriously. Y’all, stop doing that.
What happens next is embarassing. Some of your friends start sending you messages back, “Hey, you sent me a spam mesage.” Some report you as a spam-sender and block you. The rest of us, though? We are quietly judging you.
We are wondering why you were worried enough that you might be in the “OMG, is this YOU??” video to click. Just what kind of Paris Hilton-style tape do you have out there?
We’re rolling our eyes that you thought you could make $400 a day on Twitter. Silently smirking that you wanted to take an IQ test to prove you were smarter than us.
Listen, I get it. I clicked on one of those once, a link promising to show me who was stalking me on Twitter profile — entered my password, then watched in shame as my account sent out unauthorized messages on my account.
Not only did I then have to deal with the hassle of deleting the offending tweets and changing my password, everyone knew I was a dork.
It’s like that Anna Kournikova virus that spread a few years back. Click on the link, and not only did you send all your friends a virus, all of them knew you had clicked because you wanted to see naked pictures of a hot tennis player.
I didn’t fall for that, because hello? My racquet doesn’t swing that way. But Mike Wendland, the technology writer for the Detroit Free-Press, did. And got to tell the whole world about it when he sent the virus to a thousand of his dearest friends and business contacts. His column about it is a classic.
So next time, before you click on a link, think long and hard. “Do I want everyone in the free world knowing I was interested in free Viagra samples, easy breast enlargement exercises, an inside look at the secret world of the Kardashian sisters?”
If not, don’t click. Just say no.