What To Do After Clicking a Bad Link on Twitter or Facebook

Posted by on Oct 4, 2011 in Blog | 0 comments

What To Do After Clicking a Bad Link on Twitter or Facebook

After resisting Twitter, Facebook and WordPress for years, I finally made a concerted effort this summer to better use social media. It’s not that I’m opposed to technology or change; I just didn’t see the return on investment.

Yesterday, I experienced the first tangible result from my social media push: a malicious virus that spammed all my Twitter followers. My vulnerability is vanity: a message promising to show me a “bad blog post about me.” This morning, I did what most people do in this situation, I emailed the “tech” person from my last job. I’ve heard they take an oath to always help and protect those in need. Here’s the advice from Lauren Schultz, a smart tech person and social media expert. She mocked me a little but ultimately helped me out.

Q: As the tech support person from my last job, aren’t you obligated to be help me in these situations?

A: No. As the IT specialist from your former employment, I am only obligated to fix your screw-ups that were on company time and/or property.

Q: Is it true tech people take an oath like doctors to always help those in need?

A: Due to the amount of stress and cases of IT malpractice that occurs in the profession, it is required that all “tech people” take an oath before their first call. The oath says nothing of our ability, but only that (1) we mock you and your lack of know-how in your presence, (2) make you feel infinitely stupid about downloading a Trojan virus and never allow you to forgot it, and (3) insert as many large and complicated sounding tech words into whatever your issue is to ensure job security.

Q: Is there a term for my problem, like SMD, social media disease?
A: Yes. You should see a doctor. A-twitter-zol is usually recommended in these severe cases.

Q: Oops, I never completed the COBRA forms to continue my health benefits after I left our last job. Now what do I  do? 
A: Just check WebMD. You can self-diagnose. It’s the same as seeing a “real” doctor.

Q: What do I do to fix it?
A: Don’t click on anything. Don’t try to fix anything. It’s like a scab. If you pick at it, it only gets worse.

Q: Wouldn’t it be easier for me to never use the internet again?
A: Yes. And you should. Starting now.

Q: Does this virus affect not just me but every twitter user I’ve ever come in contact with?
A: Did you see “Contagion”? Yeah, me neither. But it’s sort of like that. Only on Twitter.

Now please stop emailing me about improving my performance in the bedroom. And for the love of pete, change your password already.


After mocking me some more, Lauren and a few other tech-savvy friends recommended the following.

  1. Immediately change your password.
  2. Delete the offending message from your inbox.
  3. Check for spam or other malicious posts.
  4. Notify other users who may believe your message.
  5. Clear your cache, cookies and internet browser info.
  6. Run your anti-virus software.
  7. Don’t be stupid in the future.
  8. Log out of all active sessions.

Thanks to Lauren Schultz, Sheila Grady and Dave McDougall for all of the advice.

Update: Joey Mavity recommends: “It’s also worth visiting your account settings, clicking security, then selecting “Active sessions” and logging out all the sessions.”

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