(online) Media are becoming increasingly important and useful, but sometimes you can still use some tips as a young person. For this reason Buzzinspired will give you a number of media tips. Today: Five tips on how to recognize a fake profile on social media.
1. Al-ways be alert!
It is tempting to ignore the well-intended parental advice of ‘never add a stranger’. Maybe in some aspects this isn’t even that strange: you can also meet very nice peers online. However, there are certainly risks, so if you do it, careful attention is always a must.
2. Google your ‘friend’
Search online for the person who would like to add you. Google can provide a lot of information. Do those finds match who someone claims to be? If you Google the name of the suspect, you mainly get American websites, while it should be a boy from Amsterdam. This is when you should start having some doubts.
Even when someone passes the Google check, remember that it is still no guarantee that someone will tell you the truth. Someone may of course have created a fake profile on multiple sites.
3. Google their pictures as well
Googling a profile picture can also help in exposing a liar. With Google Images you can upload a photo, after which Google will look where else that image can be found.
The option is a bit hidden, but works super simple: click on images.google.nl on the camera icon on the right in the Image search bar. Click on ‘upload an image’, select the questionable profile photo and let Google do its work. Is that photo in places that do not suit your ‘friend’? Then they are probably trying to trick you into believing it.
4. Calling won’t solve everything
Just call each other to check if your Facebook friend is really an innocent peer? Unfortunately, that also gives no guarantee, says Prummel. It is always difficult. You may hear from someone’s voice that he or she is not 15 but 40, but maybe not. You never have a 100% guaranty unless you meet someone in real life. By the way, never give your telephone number away just like that: someone with bad plans can make expensive calls abroad via your number, for example. At your expense.
The same applies, for example, to your social security number or driver’s license number. That way criminals can, for example, take out subscriptions, rent cars or open bank accounts in your name. Feel free to shout it from the virtual rooftops once you’ve obtained your driver’s license, but don’t post a photo of that pink card.
5. Caught a liar? Report it!
Does that fifteen-year-old prince(ss) charming turn out to be a dirty forty-something? Report it not only to the police, but also to the website where you met him or her, such as Facebook. These types of sites are aiming to remove fake profiles like this. They also don’t want anything to happen to their members.’