Fake social media accounts are on the rise and many have hit very close to home.
In a matter of weeks, several friends of mine have put up Instagram Stories about fake accounts impersonating them. These accounts normally have a bio informing their friends to unfollow their real account and follow the fake one instead.
In a recent case, I received a follow request from a friend. Thinking that he might have created a new one, I approved it. But I soon realised that it was a fake account and I swiftly blocked it before letting my friend know.
Besides fake accounts, hackers are also attempting to trick you into resetting your Facebook and Instagram accounts. They do this by initiating a password reset, which will trigger an SMS by Facebook. Something like this:
Generally, there is no harm clicking on the link as it usually opens to your Instagram app. But “…phishers often use links disguised as one thing to open up a very quick link that leads to malware.”
So, the rule of thumb is not to click on suspicious links!
How to keep your account safe
While Meta is not doing anyone justice in preventing the proliferation of such despicable acts of cyber attacks effectively, there are a few ways you can do to keep your account safe.
- Keep your account private IF you are not an influencer so that you get to approve follow requests.
- Do a regular stock take of your followers list. This will allow you to sift out suspicious accounts that you accidentally let in.
- Change your password regularly so that it’s difficult for hackers to guess. Go to the official social media platform to initiate the change. Do not use any links sent to you prior. Facebook/Instagram will email you on password resets and not through SMS. So, don’t click on the link sent to you via SMS.