Guest Post: It Can Even Happen To Gaga

In this guest post Faronics’ Samatha Shah shows us that social media account hacking can even happen to people who have teams to help them manage their online life. Lady Gaga’s Twitter and Facebook were simultaneously hacked last week and now everyone wants a free iPad (keep reading).  Remember to change your password once in a while, look out for bad apps,  and don’t type your password into any site that isn’t the real Facebook or Twitter.

lady gaga, facebook, twitter, saltywaffle, salty waffle, ipadLittle Monsters beware! It seems April Fools has come earlier than expected.

Lady Gaga has amassed quite an army of loyal followers. More than 45 million Facebook fans to be exact. And to reward them, this pop icon offered a chance to receive a free iPad. Naturally, heaps of excited fans jumped at the opportunity.

The message announced the release of her new signature iPad scheduled in three days. To add to the hype, they announced a massive giveaway to all the Mother Monsters fans. So is Lady Gaga turning into the next Oprah? Well not yet. It seems this story is too good to be true. Instead, it’s a cleverly executed Facebook scam that targeted one of the most high profile singers of 2011.

To add even more attention to this giveaway, Lady Gaga’s Twitter account was hacked simultaneously and 17 million followers were promised a free iPad 2 – all in the spirit of the holidays.  Right before the promise of free iPad 2s, came the promise of free Macbooks. Oopsie daisy. And this wasn’t the only celebrity account hacked. It seems Nelly Furtado also offered free Macbooks to her followers. Not to mention free iPads from Maroon 5, Blink 182 and Lifehouse. Oh my. It seems generosity is contagious. Oh wait, I meant hacking scams.

So what did the “lucky” followers need to do in order to claim their well-timed holiday gift? Oh it’s simple. Just follow the secretly malicious link to a ridiculously shady website, enter in your personal information, sign up for a bunch of offers and tell your friends to do the same. If this sounds phishy to you, you’re right. And Lady Gaga even admitted it herself and tweeted that the hacking was over.

What’s the moral of the story? Readers beware. Don’t believe everything you read. And take it easy with that clicker finger. Think before you click. From free airline tickets, to free Costco gift cards, to free iPads.  Remember, if it seems too good to be true, it probably is. Happy reading.