Think of the internet as a bit of a time capsule. You might post something online (a photo, status update, comment, rant or vent, etc.), and forget about. However, in the online wo… Read More
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The internet has been dramatically plagued with fake social media profiles and accounts on various platforms.
According to research, fake social media accounts created for fraudulent reasons has increased by 11% between the years 2014 and 2016 alone. Your chances of encountering a fake social media account have also increased as well. It’s a fact that 2-3% of all Facebook accounts are fake which equivalates to 60 million accounts!
Chances are you will encounter a fake social media account at some point. You may get a friend request, and you are already friends, but it’s a new account with the same photo and almost no friends. This is a fake social media account.
There are several reasons, but the most probable is that they are hackers. They do everything they can to gain personal information about you or the person they are pretending to be. They may ask you questions such as what street did you grow up? What is your favorite color? These are typical security questions you may have for a bank account etc.
They piece together bits of information to breach your personally identifying information that may lead to passwords for accounts etc. They may want to use it for a variety of reasons. One example is the hacker may want to use your information for online gaming which is a dangerous situation and anonymity can go a long way. They may also use fake social media accounts for trolling, cyberbullying and hacking.
Fake social media accounts usually look legitimate. Here are a few pointers to identify a fake social media account:
High Follower Count, Low Engagement
This is a huge red flag. For example, if someone has 1000 followers and three likes and no comments. Real social accounts that are established include people who are engaged and like and comment often.
An Engagement Rate That Is Too Fast
The opposite of the tip above, if someone posts an image and ten seconds later they have 2000 likes and zero comments, that is a fake account. Real engagement happens a more slowly and consists of likes and comments.
Very Few Posts
A real account has earned their following. If you see an Instagram account that has thousands of followers but only ten posts, that is a fake account that is populated with fake followers.
Sometimes an account looks and feels shady. The account may be a mix of blurry selfies and beautiful pictures of the ocean. Perhaps a photo of a beautiful woman as the profile pictures and the contents are spammy photos selling essential oils. The combination of gorgeous and amateur is a sign of a fake account. They are most likely stealing images from others ( the gorgeous profile picture)and adding in true random pictures to look authentic.
To protect yourself, use these tips and if you feel you have encountered a fake social media account, BLOCK, REPORT AND MOVE ON!
This problem is not going to go away, it is on the rise and will continue to be a threat to your social media security. Be aware and observant of the tips provided in the article.
In addition, use Berify to assist you in identifying fake social media accounts by using our state of the art reverse image search engine.
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