Can I get a virus from social media sites?

Yes, you can get a virus from social media sites. CNET recently reported that 20 percent of links found within Facebook users’ newsfeeds will open viruses. Another study found that 60 percent of attacks came from notifications from third-party applications, 21.5 percent of which claimed that they could provide functions that users want but Facebook normally prohibits such as seeing who has viewed your profile.

Cyber thieves follow the crowds, and with the rapid growth in social networks and social media sites, criminals are looking to exploit your sense of security in being part of a members-only community. For example, it was reported that hackers created fake celebrity profiles that when clicked on, downloaded malware onto the computer. Hackers then mined infected computers for logins and passwords to financial sites. Infected computers can also be used to send out spam emails, propagating the malware among your friends. Therefore, you should exercise the same precautions with social media that you use with email messages and pop-ups (See, How do I prevent spyware and malware?).

Some social media sites, such as Facebook and Twitter, employ teams that investigate malware threats, phishing attacks and spam on the sites. The companies also have automated processes that monitor for and delete phony accounts, malicious messages and links.

Also see,

Who owns my information on a social media site? What can be done with it?