How often have you seen this headline or similar on Facebook or similar social media site? Have you taken the bait and clicked? “Clickbait” is the name given to these deceptive headlines that often lead to pages on the internet which bear little relation to the headline. They often use emotive language like “what happens next will shock you” or “amazing secret” to spark our curiosity to get us to click.
The whole idea is to generate revenue for the owners of the website. If people click through to watch the video, they get more viewers and thus increase their revenue. When people share these videos on Facebook then the audience potential is increased even more, generating even more money.
This isn’t a new phenomenon but it is increasingly becoming a way to invite malware on to your computer, or spam emails if you share your email address, on the promise that you will see naked pictures of celebrities etc. In fact, there was a recent video posted claiming to show the last words of actor Robin Williams; if you clicked on the video it would redirect you to a website where malware would automatically download.
There has even been a spoof website set up http://www.clickhole.com/ which is quite funny.
So beware! Clicking on videos which sound too weird or wonderful to be true may result in you picking up an infection as your internet security may not be robust enough to stop you getting malware this way!