Social media… Some of us love it, some of us hate it and some of us hate to love it. But, most of us are using it. TikTok clocks in at over 1 billion active users a month, and Instagram has more than 2 billion. So it’s no wonder that a social media career is becoming more and more lucrative. If you’re a content creator it’s important to be aware of the risk associated with social media impersonation.
How Scammers Might Impersonate You on Social Media
As more people use social media to share their story and build community, content creation becomes more and more viable as a career option. However, by reaching the masses across the world, it’s much more likely that someone may create a profile pretending to be you. Scammers might impersonate you on social media by creating a fake profile using a similar username and your pictures, videos and bio to:
- Direct message your followers pretending to be you in order to get them to click on a link, share their personal information or send the scammer money.
- Post comments or replies on other people’s posts pretending to be you in order to gain access to their personal information or money.
- Attempt to ruin your reputation by posting inappropriate images or videos.
What to do if Someone is Impersonating You on Social Media
If you find that someone is using your photos or information on social media without your permission, there are a few things you can do:
- Report the account to the social media platform where the identity theft is taking place. Most platforms have policies against social media impersonation, and they will usually take action if you file a report.
- Let your followers and friends know about the impersonation so they can avoid being scammed.
- Encourage your followers to report the fake profile.
- Visit IdentityTheft.gov from the Federal Trade Commission to file a report and create a personalized plan for recovery.
- Change your password to a strong passphrase and enable multi factor authentication on all of your accounts.
How to Strengthen Your Online Security
In order to protect yourself and your livelihood as a content creator, it’s important to strengthen your online security. Here are a few things you can do:
- Create a strong, unique passphrase for each of your accounts.
- Enable multi-factor authentication on all of your accounts. This extra layer of security requires you a code sent to phone or email in addition to your password.
- Think twice before you post and be careful about what information you share online. The more information you share, the easier it is for someone to impersonate you.
- Don’t share pictures or videos that display personally identifiable information such as your home address or license plate number.
- Think twice before clicking on links in emails or direct messages. If you’re not sure whether the link is safe, it’s best to err on the side of caution.
As content creators become more prevalent on social media, so does the risk of social media identity theft. By being aware and taking steps to protect your online security, you can help keep your personal information and livelihood safe from scammers.