In light of Facebook's Cambridge Analytica Situation, what should I do to help protect my data?

Question: Facebook told me my data wasn't shared with Cambridge Analytica, which is a relief. But now I'm spooked. What's to keep other bad actors from collecting it, and how do I prevent that from happening?

Answer: As has always been the case with keeping your data private on Facebook, the key lies in the application's settings. If you choose to continue using Facebook, take the following precautions to keep your data safe.

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Stay Alert! Scams target previous victims

Here's another scam to watch out for, this one supposedly from a company you might know and trust. Say you had a tech issue a couple of months ago and used tech support services to resolve it. Now someone claiming to be from that service provider calls you to ask if you were satisfied with the service. If you say "No," the scammer asks for your banking or credit card information to issue a "refund." (If you say "Yes," they might claim they're issuing refunds because they're going out of business.) But, instead of putting money into your account, they take it out.

How do you avoid this type of scam?

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Stay Alert! Scammers send fake invoices to lure you in

Scammers send emails that look like they're trying to help you because they know you're more likely to click a link within them if you think you're protecting yourself. But, beware! In particular, watch for emails that look like they're coming from large tech companies you likely do business with. The emails say something like, "See the attached invoice for your recent purchase. If you did not authorize this purchase, click on the link below."

Just like other phony emails, this one is designed to get you to click on a link that takes you to a copycat website where you're asked to provide personal information that can be used for identity theft. Or it executes a program that gives scammers access to your computer, where they then install ransomware that prevents you from accessing your own files.

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Basic Grant Writing Workshop coming to Fort Belknap Agency

We will host a free workshop covering Basic Grant Writing.  Individuals and nonprofit organizations interested in learning about grant seeking and proposal writing are invited to attend.  The workshop is scheduled to take place April 3rd, 2018 from 6:30 to 8:00 pm in the conference room of the Harlem Public Library.   

The workshop is limited to the first 20 participants registered on or before Monday, April 2nd, 2018.   To register or for more information, contact Colleen or Carly at the Harlem Library by calling 406.353.2712 or e-mailing the library at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.


Spoofed Facebook Accounts It seems scammers have an endless supply of ways to trick you on Facebook. The latest hoax is being performed with the intention of disrupting your device. Here's how they do it:

1. They post something that a lot of people are likely to like and share, and encourage you to do so.

2. After a certain number of likes and shares are accumulated, they change the post so it contains malicious content.

3. At this point, if you like it, everything from that poster starts showing up in your feed.

This process is called like-farming, and clicking the wrong like button or link can cause serious damage to your device.

The latest message going around is something like this: "Facebook's algorithm is now choosing only 25 people to be viewable in your feed. I want you to keep seeing my posts, so please like or share this and let everyone know!" See how it gives you something to be afraid of and rallies viewers against Facebook to generate likes? Other types of messages can include an offer to win a prize if you like or share.

Don't fall for Facebook hoaxes. Remember these tips to help stay safe:

  • Be very judicious about what you like and share on Facebook. Don't automatically like everything.
  • Notice where the post is coming from. If you don't recognize the person, don't interact.
  • If the post promises you anything for liking or sharing, or even if you just feel pressured to do so, you can bet it's probably a scam.

If you do see fake posts, you can report them to Facebook by clicking the down-arrow in the top right corner of a post, clicking Report, and following the instructions from there.

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