Before reading this blog just ask yourself few questions- Do you use social media for more than 5-6 hours a day?, Do you know all the members connected to you on social media?, Do you care if some or most of these profiles are fake or real?, Do you ever check the profile before accepting any friend request?
Yeah! I know these are some questions which we rarely care about. To put in simple words, we use social media to share our ideas and views. It also helps us to know about day to day happening around the world. However, Social media has become part and parcel of our life. We share everything on social media- what we eat, what we do, what we feel, blah! blah! blah! Apart from the cool stuffs, there is a dark side of social media. I call it dark side because it affects our ideology, perception and eventually our thinking.
The business of fake profiles is on its peak. Social networks take your security and privacy seriously. That’s why they try to combat the spammy accounts. Facebook had launched impersonation feature for reporting a duplicate account. But, their algorithms still aren’t smart enough. Some fake social media accounts remain hard to spot.
Look at the stats below.
- As per Facebook’s 2014 stats, 5.5% to 11% of its users are fake. This includes duplicate, misclassified and undesirable accounts.
- Similarly, Twitter’s 2013 IPO filings reveal that the company expects 10 million accounts to be fake (came to around 5%at that time).
- Some of the most followed world leaders and their share of bot followers as determined by twitter audit are- Indian Prime Minster Shri Narendra Modi is followed by 16,191,426 (60%) fake profiles, while US President Trump has 37% fake followers.
A recent controversy has been triggered after one profile with fake name of RAJIA BANO was spotted by social media users. In fact JNU student Kanhaiya Kumar in an episode of Shut Up Ya Kunal mentioned how fake profiles are being used to misguide people.
Keeping in view these controversies we are here with few tips to avoid fake profiles-
- Lock Down Privacy Settings.
- Be Discreet About Your Whereabouts- Take care to avoid sharing your street address, which can help thieves target your home.
- Avoid (and Report) Duplicate Friend Requests – If you receive a request to connect with someone you know, but who you thought was already a friend or follower, double-check your friends-list before accepting the invitation. If the sender is already on your list, chances are good their account has been hacked.
Scammers use bogus accounts cloned from real users to collect “friends,” and rely on these “mutual friends” to extend their fake networks. The fake account may use photos from your friend’s real account to trick you as well.
- Don’t Use Social Credentials to Sign Into Third-Party Sites – Many third-party websites give you the option of registering using Facebook, Google or Twitter credentials instead of setting up new usernames and passwords. These shortcuts are tempting, especially when you’re eager to place an order or join a discussion, but think twice. By using this option, you may be giving the new site more information than you need to.
Worse, if someone hijacks your social login information, they can gain access to these third-party accounts as well.
- If you’ve enabled access to third party sites in Facebook, you can review the sites that are logged in automatically by clicking “Apps” on the left side of the Settings page.
- You can shut off integration apps individually, or you can disable all integration with third-party sites and applications by changing a single setting.
- Avoid Quizzes and Games That Require Access to Profile Information – “Fun” quizzes that promise to spot your perfect mate, assemble a bank-heist team, or test your hometown loyalty are often just information-siphoning schemes. While assuring you they won’t post to your feed without permission, they woo you into surrendering your profile info and friends. They can use this info to build lists for spammers.