MADISON, Wisc. (WMTV) -- Jayden K. Smith. It's a name you might have seen popping up in Facebook Messenger or on your feed this week.
Turns out you don't need to worry about Jayden, even when friends tell you not to accept their friend request. You do, however, need to be mindful of what you click.
The message that went viral on Facebook appears in your inbox like this:
"Please tell all the contacts in your messenger list not to accept Jayden K. Smith friendship request. He is a hacker and has the system connected to your Facebook account. If one of your contacts accepts it, you will also be hacked, so make sure that all your friends know it. Thanks. Forwarded as received. Hold your finger down on the message. At the bottom in the middle it will say forward. Hit that then click on the names of those in your list and it will send to them."
While neither forwarding or ignoring the message will cause any negative effects for the user, cybersecurity and data privacy lawyer Shawn Tuma says this style of hoax evolved with an awareness of the increasing fear of being hacked.
"What it also shows," Tuma says, "is that what [users] don't understand is that usually when someone is asking you to forward a message or an e-mail to others, it's probably not legitimate."
He advises that no legitimate request should ever ask you to share passwords, forward messages or copy and paste links.
The Jayden K. Smith hoax is a recycled message that has contained other names like Tanner Dwyer and Anwar Jitou. As a general rule, Tuma says any warnings that threaten drastic consequences if an action is not taken are suspicious. Even if they come from a friend, it's important to consider that the friend may have copied the message from an untrustworthy source.
"Is Bill Gates really giving away a car to everyone who shares this? We still see this stuff," says And the problem is that even with non-malicious information that gets shared, it desensitizes people to legitimate threats."
Along with not forwarding suspicious messages, you can check websites like Snopes.com to see if a message has been confirmed as a hoax.
Copyright: WMTV 2017