A recent survey by Smart Insights (https://www.smartinsights.com) now shows that 58.4% of the global population now access some form of Social Media with 424 million people entering the online social world in the last year alone. The average daily screen time spent accessing social media is a staggering 2 hours 27 minutes, each.
So, it’ll come as no surprise that an audience this size has its bad side, and can cause legitimate innocent users a great deal of stress and worry when confronted with fake and malicious users online, who only want to do you harm.
Centre for the Protection of National Infrastructure’s
The Centre for the Protection of National Infrastructure (CPNI) has recently launched an App available on both iOS and Android that helps users of personal and business social media platforms (Facebook, LinkedIn, Instagram etc) to spot the traits of fake malicious profiles, what to do if you encounter one, and the steps to report and remove them.
In the first 6 months of 2021, LinkedIn alone stopped 11.6m fake accounts at the registration stage. The growth of these attempts to register is phenomenal.
Additional research by the University of Portsmouth states that:
- 16.8million LinkedIn users in the UK may have accepted unknown contacts and;
- that awareness of the potential threat from state actors using fake profiles is lower than other potential online threats.
- When asked specifically about fake profiles and the motives of perpetrators more generally, users of LinkedIn and Facebook were most likely to think of trolling (80%), fraud (80%) and fake news (79%), rather than economic espionage (64%).
- Over half of users (53%) could not name a state that posts fake profiles. And yet, three quarters say they have knowingly received link requests from suspicious profiles.
So what can the App help me with?
The App has been developed by behavioural scientists and essentially helps you perform due diligence. Features include:
Profile Reviewer – this will help you identify fake profiles.
Reverse Image Search – this will help you identify photos that have been copied from other sources.
Online courses – this will help you gather your own knowledge on fake profiles.
Videos – Bitesized videos to can view, again to help you understand these profiles.
Case Studies – recognising malicious behaviours and what others have done to mitigate them.
Find out more about the ‘Think Before you Link’ app here: New app to counter malicious approaches online – GOV.UK (www.gov.uk)
If you have been a cyber victim and would like to discuss how we can help you mitigate such attacks through awareness training or wider cyber security protection, please get in touch with Gareth Dalton at Techn22. Send us a message by clicking here.