Fake news has been subject to much discussion in the past few years. CNN reports that the majority of Americans are confident in their ability to identify falsified information, with 90% saying that they are highly skilled in spotting fake headlines. Yet, research from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology found that fake news is 70% more likely to be shared online than true stories. These contrasting statistics shed some light on the ongoing prevalence of misinformation and digital risks.
Fake news is a more significant threat to cybersecurity than most people realize. It is a common tactic used by criminals to trick unsuspecting victims. Ayima notes that fake advertisements play into phony news by luring people with attention-grabbing headlines, otherwise known as clickbait. They are often led to unexpected websites wherein they can encounter cybersecurity attacks like malware and phishing. That’s why cybersecurity professionals and scientists are tasked with being more discerning in identifying the content that people engage with. As such, it’s essential to be aware of how one can certify a news story’s validity online. Here are a few of the most notable efforts recently:
Fake information, although crafted to be eye-catching, is typically surrounded by suspicious activity. The problem is that many people overlook warning signs and ultimately still end up clicking on these links and adverts, which take them to unreliable websites. Here, they can be subjected to a cyber breach where their online accounts can be compromised. Luckily, several tools have been designed to combat these threats by identifying their sources.
Popular browser extension Adblock Plus filters out advertisements and websites that don’t meet their comprehensive standards. Users won’t have to interface and be exposed to these harmful contents. Platforms like Whois allow users to check links they suspect are untrustworthy. The site can verify a link’s legitimacy by providing information on the domain owner and the link’s activity. By using these tools, cybersecurity professionals can better equip themselves against any malicious attacks.
Deep fake detection programs
In a commentary about Facial Recognition, it was explored how the software is often used for security reasons. However, the advancement of this technology has also led to the creation of potentially harmful programs such as deep fakes. Deepfakes are digitally altered content that presents information as said by someone else. Its use is commonly seen with videos featuring politicians saying dangerous statements, as highlighted by Reuters in an election piece, or with other influential persons in fake advertisements. Therefore, it’s crucial to identify deep fakes to avoid the spread of damaging sentiments that can lead to data breaches.
One way this is being addressed is through services like Duck Duck Goose. This website helps fight against identity fraud by allowing users to check the authenticity of a video. Users can also spot a deep fake video through close inspection. Deep fakes often encounter problems when recreating certain body parts, especially the inside of a mouth. Look closely at the tongue and teeth for any incongruencies. By employing these techniques, you have the ability to restrict the influence of deep fake videos.
Social media filters
False headlines and images are often designed with the intent of going viral on social media. The circulation of fake content can lead to widespread misinformation, which may influence real-world events and exploit the psychological vulnerability of many users. Experts from the Center Statistics Office estimate that 62% of the internet is comprised of unreliable information. So with the continuous growth of social media, it’s essential to slow the escalation of fake news with the help of filters.
One brand that has had a hand in spreading fake news is social media company X, previously known as Twitter. Its new management made the decision to fire moderators who were tasked with reducing misleading posts. Similarly, Meta, which is by far the worst culprit behind spreading false information, has been called out for not doing enough to mitigate these issues. In this case, it’s up to the users to slow the dissemination of these posts. This is possible with the help of report options. By tagging these posts fake, the platforms are less likely to promote them to other users. In supporting these social media features, cybersecurity experts can contribute to the fight against fake news, which continues to threaten the safety of internet users.