Beware the Risks of the “Get to Know Me” Trend on Social Media

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 Beware the Risks of the “Get to Know Me” Trend on Social Media
Credit: © Reuters.

In the vast landscape of social media, where trends come and go with the swipe of a finger, the recent surge in “get to know me” posts on platforms like Instagram and TikTok might seem like harmless fun. Yet, cybersecurity experts are sounding the alarm, cautioning users about the potential dangers of oversharing personal information, which could pave the way for cyberattacks.

Take Alexandra Hoang, for example, known as @lille.hoang to her nearly 82,000 followers. This Norwegian-Vietnamese influencer, renowned for her interior design tips and fashion sense, recently joined the “get to know me” challenge, revealing details like her age, height, shoe size, and even her son’s name. While seemingly innocuous, such disclosures can inadvertently open doors for malicious actors to exploit.

The trend, which gained momentum in December, prompts users to answer a series of questions ranging from trivial preferences to more intimate details of their lives. For many celebrities and influencers, it became a way to connect with their audience on a deeper level. Alexandra’s participation, depicted in a glamorous video, garnered substantial attention, far surpassing her typical engagement rates.

What are the dangers?

Personal information shared in such posts is akin to gold for fraudsters, who may exploit it to gain unauthorized access to accounts or orchestrate elaborate scams. With over 90,000 individuals falling victim to social media fraud in 2021 alone, the consequences are dire, with losses totaling $770 million, as reported by the Federal Trade Commission.

Moreover, the familiarity of details shared in these posts, such as names of family members or pets, could inadvertently serve as clues for password guessing. Armed with this information, cybercriminals may craft convincing phishing emails or set up fraudulent accounts, posing as the user to deceive followers into compromising actions.

What should you do?

The importance of exercising caution on social media. While influencers may feel pressured to participate in trending challenges for increased engagement, safeguarding personal information should remain a priority. Oversharing, she contends, could have far-reaching consequences, including compromising one’s safety and privacy.

Ultimately, as users navigate the ever-evolving landscape of social media, prudence should prevail over popularity. While engagement metrics may drive the allure of participating in trends, safeguarding personal information is paramount, ensuring a safer online experience for all.

By Anna Collard, SVP Content Strategy and Evangelist at KnowBe4 AFRICA.

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