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Avoid phony links in your Facebook and Twitter streams, says state official

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The loading screen of the Facebook application on a mobile phone is seen in this photo illustration taken in Lavigny May 16, 2012. REUTERS/V
The loading screen of the Facebook application on a mobile phone is seen in this photo illustration taken in Lavigny May 16, 2012. REUTERS/V
Department of Agriculture, T... (Download MP3)

MADISON, Wis. (WSAU) - There's a number of computer viruses floating around Facebook these days and state officials want to help keep you safe.

Department of Agriculture, Trade and Consumer Protection spokesman Jerad Albracht says viruses can be spread by malicious links posted to your social media streams. "Any link you don't need to be clicking on, or any link that takes you somewhere you don't recognize needs to be looked at with some suspicion."

Common things to look for are links promising pictures of celebrities, disaster events or other major news stories. These links will typically come with some sort of pre-programmed shock statement to try and get you to click. Albracht says just ignore them. "In the case of this Zeus malware have had a link of .TK at the end rather than .com or .org."

The links could also come from friends who may have been duped into clicking on the links. If you see that, ignore the link and call your friend. "You want to let them know they may not have access to their account any more, or that someone's posting things on there that's not them."

If you think you've got a virus on your computer, or if you've clicked one of these links, take your computer to a trusted repair shop. Albracht says you should also keep your antivirus up to date.

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