We’re all no strangers to the world of social media. It is safe to say that almost everyone has a social media account. According to a recent study, nearly one billion people have a Facebook account and are active on the site every day. Being on Facebook, it’s only normal that you get friend requests from people who may be mutual friends or even absolute strangers that just want to be friends.
But, the question still lingers, how safe are your Facebook friends? These are people that you have never met or seen or even spoken to, face-to-face. All you know about them is what they’ve been telling you via messages and comments on your profiles. And that gives rise to another question, how do you know if your Facebook friends are safe and that they don’t mean you any harm?
We’ve put together a couple of signs that you need to watch out for with your Facebook pals, to see if they may have some shady plan for you under their sleeves. If you encounter any one of these situations, chances are that your Facebook friend might not even be a friend, to begin with.
#1 They’re Controlling
When you start to notice that your Facebook friend is trying to dictate the aspects of your life, you may need to go the drastic way and cut them off. They will tend to ask about how your daily events went and try to manipulate you into doing things the way they want. They will also begin to impose certain rules, like the kind of friends you should be hanging out with and the people that you should be meeting. This trait is more common in Facebook lovers. If you’re facing this with a friend online, they may be a character with narcissistic personality disorder, Machiavellianism and may even be experiencing psychopathic issues.
#2 They’re Always On Your Trail
A second thing to keep track of is how often they lurk around your Facebook profile or your posts. The tell-tale signs are that you find them constantly commenting on every one of your posts and leave creepy, stalker-type messages. They also seem to be looking at all your old pictures and are sending friend requests to all your friends. If you are experiencing this with a Facebook friend, you may need to take a step back from that particular friend. There have been reports of such behavior online leading to more serious issues such as physical stalking, kidnapping and even rape.
#3 They Ask For Money
This is another common happening within social media communities. There have been multiple reports of scams via Facebook with people losing thousands of dollars to their Facebook “friends”. Such cases usually happen among “romantically linked” Facebook connections. Many scammers pretend to be rich and available bachelors that trick women into paying a certain amount of money with the promise of marriage and riches. If you suspect that your Facebook friend may be a scammer, a quick email lookup will be able to reveal their true identity.
#4 They Ask For Personal Details
Some Facebook friends unashamedly ask you for personal particulars such as your phone number and address. Unless you know these Facebook friends in person, they have no business trying to get such details from you nor are you obliged to provide them with it. Such requests are usually faced by teens who are more vulnerable and unsuspecting. There have been cases where the release of such information, especially location, have led to gruesome rape and murder. Keeping this in mind, it’s best never to divulge personal information to Facebook friends that you do not personally know.
Always keep track of your Facebook friends and their interactions with you on the social media platform. If you suspect that your Facebook “friend” or that of a loved one may have malicious intentions, a quick people search would be able to tell you all you need to know about that particular Facebook connection, straight from the public records.