How to detect fake profiles on social networks?

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Marie-Ange Demory

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Social networks are widely used all over the world, which is why some bad guys use their ease of access to create fake profiles to do harm; But how do you know if an account is fake ?; This tutorial will give you some tips on how to detect fake profiles on social networks?

    What are fake profiles for?

    Fake profiles are created by malicious people or bots (computer programs that mimic human behavior on the Internet) with the intention of harming other users. These fake profiles are very dangerous because they are designed to:

    • Stealing personal information , this attack is known as phishing.
    • Damaging the reputation of a person or company; It even serves cyberbullying or cyberbullying or extortion of money.
    • Identities personified.
    • Committing crimes in the name of a fake user.
    • Spread malware or spy on users.

    • Send spam.
    • Attract children and teenagers with the intention of psychologically or sexually abusing them or promoting child pornography. This is why it is important to improve the safety of adolescents on social networks and also of children.
    • Posting fake news to alarm people.
    • Use of fraudulent links.

    If you come across a fake profile on social media, report it immediately; All social networks have the service of reporting these profiles, thus avoiding that other users are victims of the dangers and errors of privacy in social networks and unscrupulous people who use these networks to do harm.

    • These profiles are usually based on a specific theme, which is attractive to users; such as sport, politics, sex, decoration, religion, health, among others; they also include striking and attractive images.
    • You have no mutual friends with that profile, receiving an offline follow-up request with another user is usually very suspicious.
    • The photos used by the account are a good indication; For example, if you use unrealistic photos, have no photos, or even wear photos with little clothing, these factors indicate that the account may be fake.
    • The profile contains very vague information about that user; However, there are cases in which the false profile can contain unrealistic data, for example studied in excellent universities or jobs in large companies.
    • The number of friends or followers is very important; Two things can happen in a fake profile, whether it has very few friends or it has hundreds of friends but without profile photos and with names from other countries (Arabs, Russians, Chinese).
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    • Check if you have tagged photos, this is used a lot on Facebook and Instagram.
    • If you constantly talk to a person via WhatsApp, Skype or another similar network but you don't know who they are or what they are like; Ask him to send you a photo or make a video call, if he doesn't respond to any of these methods there is something suspicious.
    • Look at the account name, sometimes these profiles have weird names combined with numbers at the end.
    • Search the profile; For example, search Google's images for the photographs he has in his profile and search for the account name in the browser; With this search you can find out if the photos you have in your account are taken from the internet or if other people have commented on that profile.
    • Check if they have occasionally posted messages, stories or statuses, even if a user is not very active on social networks, it is normal that at some point they have posted something important in their life.
    • If you follow artists, public institutions, brands, social movements or media, make sure it is a verified account; You will know this because you will see a check or medal next to the username, you must also move your mouse or finger over the username to see the expression "Verified account"; If this expression does not appear, the bill is false regardless of whether it has the check or the medal.
    • See if you interact with other users or reply to their comments.
    • Check the age of the account if it has little open time (hours or days) it is a dubious account.

    In order not to be victims of false profiles, you must use common sense and common sense; do not accept on your social networks people you do not know in person. Don't click on suspicious links, not to provide personal information through networks ; Only you can prevent these fake profiles and avoid the dangers that exist in social networks.

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