Tagged: fake profiles

Spotting Fake Online Profiles

Posted on August 21, 2014 by - Uncategorized

What’s this, a new friend request? Oh, he or she looks attractive and/or successful; maybe I should accept the request, right?

The easy answer is, no, if you don’t really know the person, don’t accept any social media invitations to connect, join a circle or group, like a page, plus one something, etc. That is the best way to protect yourself from fake profiles and invented people that participate in social media.

Who is really behind that social media profile?

Who is really behind that social media profile?

But it really comes down to what you want out of your online experience. Maybe your “friend count” is the most important, maybe you are fine with communicating and flirting with a person you know probably isn’t really that person, but you enjoy the engagement. Maybe you believe you are too smart to get fooled into thinking someone’s real info is false.

Here are a couple of quick tips to validate (if you so desire) online profiles:

#1: Look at the pictures. Are they all well-produced images? Do they look professionally shot? If there aren’t any “around the house” photos, chances are the pics are ripped from another site. How many pics do they have, only five? With all those “friends,” and no one has tagged him/her, ever?

#2: Search the images. Google has an amazing feature—image search. Copy the profile image, drag it into the search bar, and BAM, you can see every place on the Internet that uses the photo. In the case of females, the less they are wearing the better chance it’s a stolen image from some Eastern European adult site.

#3: What do they post? Is it ad or agenda related? Do they just post more well-produced photos and things that are tied to real people or events?

#4: Whom are their friends? Do you see real interaction, or just a bunch of fans or lonely losers complimenting pics?

Fake Profiles—How to be Safe Online

Posted on June 20, 2014 by - Uncategorized

A new friend request appears on your Facebook account. Wait, who is this? No mutual friends, he/she doesn’t look familiar and is not from your city or state. But the picture is inviting—it’s either an attractive person smiling or a grandparent with grandkids. So you accept the request, thinking there’s no harm in adding one more friend.

You never know who is operating online profiles.

You never know who is operating online profiles.

The reality is, however, that hackers and spammers are operating that profile and once you accept, can begin flooding your account, manipulating your data and even cause your profile to be shut down. And it’s not just on Facebook—this exists on LinkedIn, Google+, Twitter and even job sites like Monster and Career Builder.

So what can you do? How do you prevent fake profiles from ruining your online reputation and adding excess stress to your digital platform?

The easiest and best place to start is with the image used for the suspect profile. Pull the pic to your desktop or “save image as.” Then do a reverse image search on Google, by dragging the photo into the box. Google will then tell you everywhere that that image has appeared online. For female photos, a lot of images are associated with adult websites.

There are also complete websites like fbchecker.com dedicated to helping you determine the validity of a profile.

If you get nowhere with the pic, move on to the personal information. Search the name along with the associated city and state and see what comes up. Does the person have a year and institution from which they graduated high school? Almost all high schools in America have digitized their yearbooks, and local genealogy societies have family histories and pictures of senior classes.

Still not getting anywhere? Then message him/her directly and ask why he/she wants to be your friend. On professional networks, users oftentimes are just trying to build their base and/or they want to flood your page with products and services.

Until you meet and shake hands with the new person, assume their profile to be fake as it relates to your livelihood.