Perspectives

Perspectives on communications management in a socially-connected world

Simple steps to protect yourself against fake social media connections

Simple steps to protect yourself against fake social media connections

In a 48-hour period, I received a series of Friend requests on Facebook, all from people I didn't know or with whom I hadn't done business. The requests were out of sync with my marketing, and statistically were unlikely. This blog looks at ways to protect yourself from requests to connect from fake accounts.

My first thought was that in the run-up to the U.S. elections, this was probably part of parties and candidates building up fake account portfolios to be able to bolster support for positions by using these bots as a kind of greek chorus. These are the accounts that shout the talking points and jump on naysayers.  If you have enough of them, their point of view becomes overwhelming.

But these are not the only source of fake accounts. Fake and malicious connections on social media are used to put together pieces of data needed for ID theft and other scams.

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Twitter Impersonator

Twitter Impersonator

I discovered on Twitter today that Integrated Media Strategies' account has been impersonated.  Our account name is @coherentmedia. The impersonator is @zobugelexuci.  I have reported the fake account to Twitter both in my personal capacity - because the tweets on that account are mine - and in a professional capacity, because that account is contravening my copyright through the use of my logo and tagline.

It brings up a few points - the first is to do a regular review of your accounts.  At least annually is a good idea. We do so more regularly, but many small businesses don't build the time in, period. The second is to check if you are receiving unusual email.  The internet can turn up strange activity, but by this I mean if you are getting out of the ordinary requests to connect on social media, follow up and check to see the source, or why. Often it will be innocent, but if not, it's worth catching it before it can do real damage. 

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