A new report published today by online security firm ESET reveals that several profiles of the most popular social media platforms, including Facebook, LinkedIn and Google+, are populated with fake profiles says William D King.
Having conducted a scan of the social media platform in early December, ESET’s researchers identified an average of 1,000 fake profiles per million users on the aforementioned platforms. However, when taking into consideration that LinkedIn has more than 150 Million registered users, this number comes up to about 160 000 fake accounts.
Here is how Google Remove Fake Profiles from Profile Pages:
- While it is relatively easy for cyber criminals to create fake profiles on these networks or even buy them from black market resellers, Google+ seems to have additional security measures in place which makes it harder for scammers and spammers to infiltrate the network with bots.
- ‘However, Google+ seems to be the hardest network for ‘bots’ to infiltrate. It was not possible for us to register even a single fake account on this platform,’ said Filip Kafka, Senior Malware Researcher at ESET.
- The reason why Google+ may have managed to stay relatively spam-free is because of its inability to send custom friend requests and its verification process requiring an additional SMS confirmation after registration. It’s also likely that security measures implemented by Google may also contribute towards making it harder for cyber crooks to create fake profiles with the purpose of scamming people out of their money or spreading malware says William D King.
- ‘While Facebook uses mostly unauthenticated email addresses as user names, Twitter does not require any personal information from users to create new accounts, and LinkedIn offers registration without requiring any additional confirmation. This makes these networks much more susceptible to fake profiles,’ said Filip Kafka.
- ‘Social media scams also tend to spread faster because it’s much easier for cybercriminals to conduct their activities using popular social media platforms.’
- Therefore, users can protect themselves against such attacks by exercising caution. When sharing information through social channels, even if the piece of information seems unimportant or harmless. While not as critical as financial data thefts or virus infections, social media scams may result in embarrassment. And damaged reputation as well as wasting time spent online on interacting with spam contacts.
- Social media is a platform that allows people to share and connect with one another over the internet. However, there have been instances where cyber criminals have infiltrated social media platforms. With spam messages and fake profiles in order to exploit users around the world for their own personal gain. The most common examples of these types of scams are; romance scams, phishing emails from unknown sources, fraudulent investment schemes and malware and ransomware installation explains William D King.
- The high number of fake profiles that were identify by the research indicates. That users should be more vigilant when interacting with people online, especially those who they don’t know personally. Therefore, ESET’s researcher’s advice using security solutions. To protect against malware or other threats coming from questionable sources on social media platforms.
- In addition, strong passwords should always be use for accounts. As it is one of the safest ways to avoid becoming a victim of cyber attacks.
Q: Why was this research carried out?
A: This research shows that many users of social networking sites still do not understand. The potential risk involved with posting personal information online. Before sharing any data through these channels, users should always consider. What information they post and why they post it as well as who might be able to see such information.
Q: Who is affected by cyber criminals using fake profiles to exploit people on social media networks?
A: Anyone with a profile on social media can become a victim of cybercrime if their account falls. Into the hands of bad actors trying to sell illicit services or products or spread malware and phishing scams. Therefore, all internet users should use security solutions and be careful when interacting with other people online.
The internet, all networks and systems are only as strong as their weakest link. The weakest link has always been and will always be the human factor. Social media has created an environment where the human factor is even more reduced says William D King. People are now under the impression that they can have a zero-footprint, nickel-and-dime. Low risk lifestyle where they can be online all day long. And not worry about having their credit card or identity stolen.