YouTube is a wealth of information once you wade through the millions of videos uploaded. Sometimes the most unexpected videos pop up.
These past two weeks, I’ve posted articles on fake followers and how fake followers do more damage than good to a business or brand. What I didn’t know before I started writing about fake followers is that there are ways to create virtually unlimited Facebook accounts without a telephone number using a single email ID.
With just one email account, you can create multiple email accounts from that one email account that you could then use to register new social media accounts that would appear to be real accounts when they are actually fake accounts.
Now that’s bad enough, but do you understand what Access Tokens are?
While Access Tokens are legitimate, they are like gold to phishing sites that promise to increase the number of LIKES on your Facebook page. Fake LIKES. Fake LIKES that have now put your social media account(s) in danger along with the social media accounts of all your real followers.
How can any of this endanger your business or professional reputation aside from the obvious?
When hackers, phishers, scammers and con artists find a way to snag credentials from a business, they focus on high value data that can be sold on the black market. If your business is one of the holes through which criminals can steal other people’s high value data, your business could find itself blacklisted by internet and financial services companies.
Once a business is blacklisted, the hurdles created by the blacklist will impact on the business’s reputation as well as the business’s ability to communicate effectively with other businesses, clients and customers, and potential clients and customers. The concern hanging over the business will be whether the digital communication with the business is legitimate or that of a criminal masquerading as the business.
But that’s not all. Thanks to phishing, the risk of smishing (phishing via SMS) and vishing (phishing via voice over IP) has also grown.
This makes last week’s case study all the more interesting in light of the fact that of the followers mentioned in last week’s article may actually be far fewer than previously calculated thanks to possible multiple emails accounts create to generate fake social media accounts coupled with fake followers that appear real.
Remember that social media platforms generally do not approve of fake accounts or (having or selling) fake followers. You can help curb fake followers on social media platforms by reporting any that try to follow you, and then blocking them.
For those who are fraudulently trying to have their Twitter accounts blue tick verified, perhaps the reason your Twitter accounts haven’t been blue tick verified to date is because Twitter has a very good idea just how many of your followers aren’t real.
Be aware and beware. Technology can be a wonderful thing for building your business, but along with all the benefits come some nasty surprises. Know what to look for, and remember to stay away from anything that doesn’t ring true whether it’s in your professional life or your personal life.