Sometimes, we receive news from our friends that we just posted something weird, or that we checked-in an obscure location, or even a nice old photo from ages ago. But wait, you did not do that, did you?
Here’s a true story of how fake accounts caused such a ruckus in the real world
One of the hotter topic of conversations regarding the social realm is how Cambridge Analytica abused data from Facebook. This user data was “improperly accessed”, which makes matters worse. The acquisition of this user data will eventually have given a particular political party an advantage to target and serve ads to these users.
Let’s break this down into several parts. In most cases, duplicate accounts will have been created by another real human. We will now see why and how this happens as well as action steps we can take to ensure a more civil digital environment.
Why does it happen?
A duplicate account of a particular individual, no matter how unconvincing, will still garner friends and followers. This will allow these duplicate/fake account users to mine information and data based on these friends of “yours”. It will be easy to observe and pull data such as posting habits, videos and photos uploaded, and other apps linked to your social media accounts.
Scammer alert! We’ve seen so many of this around especially in our closed social media groups. Every other person happens to be a scammer because of the lack of credibility especially when it comes to a buying and selling situation.
Spam isn’t just that canned meat we find in the grocery stores. Now that these duplicate accounts are in the wild, their users need not worry about being too ethical in this digital world. Let the endless postings of irrelevant content begin!
How does it happen?
Remember those days when we used to borrow our friend’s homework just to hand them in quickly? This is exactly how our social media profiles can be easily duplicated. These duplicators pick public profiles whose information is most easily accessed and compiles them into another account. Just like our homework from back in the day, we can see how the duplicate profiles look so similar to ours but they are not truly “us”.
What can you do?
Now that we know of what goes on behind the scenes, it’s time for us to take our digital privacy a little more seriously. Here are a few measures we can take to tighten our security.
1. Change our passwords frequently. 2. Make our social profiles more restricted. 3. Ensure 2-step verification if available. 4. Actively report duplicate/fake accounts back to the social media platform’s support.
Read this article to know more about how we can be safer online.