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Like my colleague, CNET News' Caroline McCarthy, I've noticed a worrisome uptick in the amount of spam splatting against my Facebook Wall. It also nestles into my in-box in the form of a courtesy e-mail message prompting me to read my Wall.

While Facebook seems to have internal methods to resolve the malicious spam that has hijacked my friends' accounts, the only other recourse they offer is to update your antivirus software against an attack. That's too late. You want to block it before it ever drops its malware payload, and that means installing software that's designed to sniff your links.

Facebook spam
If you see this on your Facebook Wall, delete it or report it; just don't click it. (Credit: CNET Networks)

I'll admit to being tricked the first time I read a Facebook Wall spam message, and clicked the link. My surfing path was immediately blocked by Firefox 3 and McAfee Site Advisor (for Firefox and Internet Explorer). While we don't recommend chasing down viruses to test the efficacy of your antivirus or privacy software, it was heartening to see the security features on these apps work as advertised. Grisoft's LinkScanner Lite and LinkScanner Pro are also very good at alerting you to perilous Web pages, though Firefox users should know it is not yet compatible with Firefox 3.

Jessica Dolcourt reviews smartphones and cell phones, covers handset news, and pens the monthly column Smartphones Unlocked. A senior editor, she started at CNET in 2006 and spent four years reviewing mobile and desktop software before taking on devices.