Here’s a scary reason why you maybe shouldn’t be using the “like” button on Facebook

Liking a post on Facebook is something most of us do without even thinking about it — it’s basically a reflex at this point. We like tons of things all day, every day. Unfortunately, online scammers have found a way to use it against us. It’s called like-farming, and it’s spreading viruses and malware and enabling scammers to steal your information. Scary stuff.

Let’s break it down for you. Facebook’s algorithm works like this: The more likes a post has, the more likely it is to show up in your News Feed. A scammer takes advantage of this by posting something to Facebook that’s just like any other cutesy, totally shareable story — think adorable animal videos. As the story gains popularity and goes viral, more and more people like it. Once that happens, the scammer then goes back on and edits the post to contain malicious content. Any new likers are now potential victims. Yikes.

Facebook has yet to announce a solution to this problem.

If you’re concerned that you may have been victim to this evil trick, you can review your “likes” by clicking the Activity Log on your Facebook profile. Review the names of the things you’ve liked — if it’s something that looks like you’d never have clicked on it in a million years, unlike it immediately. You’ll want to review the seemingly innocuous pages you’ve liked as well, since scammers can do it with both pages and posts.

Going forward, definitely pay more attention to what you’re “liking” online.