Picture this: You are browsing your company’s Twitter feed, when you see a post that you really like. You go to the poster’s profile page, and everything seems normal – he’s got posts, images, links to supposedly good websites related to your company’s target market. But is it a legitimate profile, or a fake one? Welcome to the Managed Services blog, and today, we’ll show you 5 ways that will help you spot fake profiles.
On social media, there are millions of fake profiles. Some are parody accounts of celebrities (and their purpose is clearly stated), but the majority are those that use attractive text to try to get you, the viewer, to click on links in their posts. These links can be potential phishing links, designed to inject malware into your device or computer, giving full access to hackers to your network’s infrastructure, or recruiting the device to a botnet.
Now, with the brief overview completed, let’s get to the list:
1. Profile Name
Usually, fake profiles will have either coherent or incoherent names, but look out for incoherent handles – handles with jumbled-up characters usually indicate fake profiles.
2. Profile Description
Check the description of the profile. Fake profiles usually have either no description, one with bad grammar, or one that tries to entice users with, ahem, ‘interesting’ promises.
3. Profile Image
Even if the content of the profile looks fine, the profile image could be stolen from the internet. This would be a case of identity fraud, as the picture is being used without permission from the original owner. Perform a reverse-image search on Google to make sure that it is not a readily-available image.
Most fake profiles follow thousands of people, while they themselves only have at least 2 or 3 followers. Be on a look out for this.
5. Profile Actions
Most fake profiles are inactive for great lengths of time, awakening only when they fire off a small flurry of posts, usually ones with phishing links. Also, they usually post the same thing over and over again to multiple users, with incoherent text. This is indicative of a posting bot.
In the end, the best method to spot a fake profile is common sense – if your gut thinks that something is off or not right about the profile, then it’s a good idea to close that browser tab with the profile, and return to other things, like work.
And with that, another edition of the Managed Services blog has been wrapped up. Come back next week for another intriguing topic. Until then, take care and stay Cyber Safe.