'Be like Bill' meme could pose security risk to your computer

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Wednesday, January 27, 2016

HOUSTON -- Those "Be like Bill" memes you're seeing Facebook feed may be giving you a couple of chuckles, but if you're not careful, they could end up giving you a big headache.

The meme creates a story about you and asks you to share it with your friends on Facebook. But the Better Business Bureau, or BBB, says you should read the terms of privacy first and make sure you're OK with what it states.

The meme's creator, Bobla, says in its terms, "You will allow us to use, edit your content with our service permanently, no limit and no recover."

In some cases, the BBB says content could contain viruses that can damage your computer, access your Facebook profile or even find ways to get your credit card and bank account numbers.

If you've already created the meme and shared it to your Facebook page, here's how you can remove it -- Go to your Facebook settings and select the Apps category from the left menu. From there, hover over the appropriate app and click "X" to remove.

In general, the BBB offers the following advice when navigating the Internet:

  • Don't take the bait. Stay away from promotions of "exclusive," "shocking" or "sensational" pictures or video. If it sounds too outlandish to be true, it is probably a scam.
  • Hover over a link to see its true destination. Before you click, mouse over the link to see where it will take you. Don't click on links leading to unfamiliar websites.
  • Confirm before you trust your "friends" online. It might not actually be your friends who are "liking" or sharing scam links to photos, quizzes or games. Their account may have been hacked and scammers could be using another tactic called "clickjacking". Clickjacking is a technique that scammers use to trick you into clicking on social media links that you would not usually click on.
  • Report scam posts on Facebook by following these instructions.
  • Report malware or spam on Twitter by following these instructions.
  • Consumers are urged to contact BBB at 314-645-3300 or www.bbb.org, for a BBB Business Review before doing business with any company or charity.
  • Click here for full details from the BBB on how to protect yourself on social media.

    ABC7 News contributed to this report.