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Phoenix Forward

3 ways to block Facebook® spam and other annoyances

3 ways to block Facebook® spam

When you're on Facebook, you'll probably encounter certain content that you'd rather filter out. Whether it's solicitous messages about too-good-to-be-true offers or discounts, friend requests from people you've never heard of, or messages from fake accounts, these annoyances are commonly known as "social spam."

Learn how to better control social spam with the following tips:

1. Set up filters to control who can contact you.

To rid yourself of spam and random "friend" requests, take control of who contacts you on Facebook. By default, anyone on Facebook can send you a message. To modify this setting:

  • Log on to Facebook.
  • Click the downward-pointing arrow in the upper right of the blue navigation bar.
  • Select Privacy Settings.

Next to the heading How You Connect, click Edit Settings.

3 ways to block Facebook spam

You'll then find settings that allow you to control who can communicate with you, such as who can locate your profile and send you friend requests or Facebook messages, and who can see posts by others on your time line. "To receive the most relevant communication, it's important to ensure that you're only being contacted by 'friends' and 'friends of friends,'" says Chris Crowe, a social media manager for University of Phoenix.

2. Block individual accounts.

Even with filters set up, it still may be possible for spammers to contact you. But you can make sure that the first time will be their last. To report a message from someone you don't know or who may be trying to solicit you:

  • Click Messages on the left navigation bar of your Facebook dashboard.
  • Open the message of the spammer and click the Actions button located above the message.
  • Select Report as Spam from the drop-down menu.
  • Confirm your selection in the pop-up window.
3 ways to block Facebook spam

This process will alert Facebook and prevent the suspected spammer from sending further solicitations.

3. Block Facebook apps.

Facebook apps are the utilities and games you use within Facebook, such as FarmvilleTM. They also include websites, such as Grouponsm, that utilize your profile data, contacts and other Facebook features. By default, apps have access to your friend lists and any information that you choose to share publicly, such as public status updates and details in the About section of your profile.

"This isn't strictly a security concern," Crowe says. "It's about making sure you're not annoyed by too many app-related posts -- and that you're not annoying your friends."

Tired of seeing posts showing up on your feed from applications you use? To manage your app settings and stop these apps from broadcasting your activity, make sure you're logged on to Facebook, then:

  • Visit App Settings.
  • Select Edit next to the app in which you want to change the settings.
  • Keep in mind that when you edit these settings, you might be affecting the app's functionality.
3 ways to block Facebook spam

What has been your experience with social spam? Let us know on
Facebook, Twitter® or in the comments below.

Facebook is a registered trademark of Facebook Inc.
Farmville is a trademark of Zynga Inc.
Groupon is a trademark of Groupon Inc.
Twitter is a registered trademark of Twitter Inc.