How to prevent online impersonation

There’s no denying that social media has been a game-changer. In a matter of years, it’s allowed us to communicate on an unprecedented scale. We can access breaking news stories within seconds, connect with anyone around the world, and conduct business from the palms of our hands.

In many ways, social media has brought us all together by enabling us to connect and communicate 24/7, 365 days a year. But there’s also a dark side that’s becoming increasingly troubling.

Brand impersonation.
Fake accounts.
Trolling and abuse.

With the Euro 2020 games dominating the headlines, these issues are particularly apparent. In the past, venting about a game or a player would take place over a pint in the pub. Now, these conversations are carried out publicly online, for anyone and everyone to read.

Armed with anonymity and fake accounts, trolls feel emboldened to spew vitriol and abuse, including scores of racist messages. According to a recent analysis conducted by The Guardian, 2,114 abusive tweets were identified across England’s group games against Croatia, Scotland, and the Czech Republic, specifically targeting players. This included 44 explicitly racist tweets.

Trolling isn’t the only problem to contend with. It’s become all too easy for attackers to create fake profiles that mimic legitimate brands. By copying the logo, trademarks, name and visual likeness of a brand, impersonators can trick customers into providing personal data or sending money. The buying and selling of counterfeit game tickets, for example, is a persistent issue for football clubs and sports teams.

There have been numerous calls for social media to be more tightly regulated. But the entitlement to “free speech” has complicated that argument, coupled with the difficulty of creating unified regulation across multiple platforms with different use cases.

So, what’s the best way forward?

Introducing ZeroFox

ZeroFox is a platform that protects every inch of your public attack surface. From domains and email to social media and the dark web, ZeroFox safeguards organisations from digital threats across all publicly available platforms.

Brand impersonation

ZeroFox is purpose-built to identify and remove impersonating accounts, websites, emails and phone numbers. Thanks to advanced email protection, it secures your organisation against account takeover, fake accounts and scams, in which attackers copy brand logos, messaging and product photos to defraud customers.

The A.C. Milan case study

The globally recognised football club, A.C. Milan, faced the challenge of managing and minimising threats for top executives and key players on social media. The security team was overwhelmed with manually identifying new impersonated accounts and counterfeit tickets being sold online.

With thousands of fake accounts discovered, the remediation process was far too time-consuming. But it was vital that a safe online environment for the club’s social media community could be maintained. The security team needed an immediate detection and takedown system for counterfeit tickets and emerging impersonated accounts that pretended to be key executives and top players.

Thanks to ZeroFox, social media threats such as fake accounts are taken down before they’re even noticed online, giving the security team the time and peace of mind to work on other security priorities.

The results speak for themselves…

  • 235% more takedowns
  • 2,953 takedowns processed since 2019
  • 13k+ alerts generated to protect executives and players in 2019
  • 400 critical alerts in the last quarter alone

To learn more about ZeroFox, check out our latest podcast episode here.

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