Have you ever heard that “All Press is Good Press”?  Fake News made it clear that it’s not the case when we talk about cybersecurity.

This term has proven itself to be no joke. We shouldn’t make fun of it.

Even if people claim that it comes from President Donald Trump’s mind, it doesn’t. 

It just gained a lot of reputation since then.

What’s important now, is to be aware of how real this real threat is… And learn to avoid it.

Fake News: The Real Security Threat Behind Them

In short terms, Fake News is just made-up news. 

Instead of informing their readers with verified facts… They’re published with sprinkling lies or pure exaggeration all over it.

They can be found mostly on websites focused on sensationalism and personal attacks against personalities, companies, or even countries.

They’re what we call: Hatred publications.

Do you know what type of news is often full of hatred? Politics.

While not all politics-related News is Fake News, there’s a clear connection between not-regulated hatred and dangerous miss-information. 

Being said: why should a Security firm as MyITGuy dedicate today’s publication to a topic like this one? Fake News is capable of dealing a lot of damage.

How Does That Translate to a Security Threat?

Both hacking and fake news share many things in common. But there’s one that shines the most: Social Engineering (in other words, manipulation).

Its creators are masters of emotions. They can persuade its consumers in a matter of seconds, so itself… It can connect with any method currently used that represents a security threat.

Fake news can be used to make these more effective:

And all of that can be leveraged through AI & Machine Learning, just for example.

There’s a branch of it referred to as “Deep Fake,” where technology understands how humans think, speak, and write. They’re capable of creating rants against their perceived enemies.

The person’s or company’s reputation vanishes in a matter of seconds within the society they operate in. And rumors don’t end there: They may cost millions of trying to clean back their image.

In the worst-case scenario, fake news is powerful enough to start a war or worldwide riots. 

Don’t you think they’re capable of tricking you and everybody around you? 

All of us have been fooled by fake news at least once – And it can repeat anytime soon.  

But, in the meantime, here there are five lessons on “how to avoid them”:

  1. Fear and Uncertainty = Red Flags 

    Too simple, right? Well, it kind of is. News and Media are fighting their most competitive fight in years… And stinging headlines are more frequent now than ever (attention is money).

    But that doesn’t mean flashy thumbnails and eye-catching titles; ALL belong to fake news stories… But all Fake News stories have them.

    So, at least consider giving a double-check the facts before telling all your neighbors about how Jeff Bezos, Bill Gates, and Elon Musks are giving away Bitcoins on twitter.


  2. Fake News is Backed-up by Stories

    There’s something magical (and dangerous) about stories… That when they’re so good, we want to believe them as real, even if they clearly aren’t. 

    Our trust in story-telling exists because of how good storytellers use small details, too many times, to wrap us around the tale. 

    Data as numbers and stats are elements of manipulation presented on most fake news. But we have gotten cautious with them. Now, we tend to research if they’re real or not.

    On the other hand, we don’t take the time to stop the story, to look out those “details”.


  3. Everyone’s Vulnerable to Fake News

    And there’s no exception. Everyone and every industry are affected by it… Just some more than others.

    And politics don’t get away with it. 

    In 2016, Hilary Clinton was the protagonist of many fake stories (one of them “where she was given debate questions before the event.”).

    While it was untrue, what’s funny is that this happened weeks later.

    But do not think this only happens in the US. The same applies to Europe and the rest of the world.

    What’s even worst is that we tend to believe that this is not the case for other places (the neighbors front is greener, right?) and start our search for new sources.

    Only to find out there’s not much of a difference there. 

Summary

Fake News is among the most effective manipulation techniques that cybercriminals posses right now.

And because of the rising trend, we thought it was a great idea to create awareness about it.

After all, we cannot obligate readers to do something about it.

At least, if you don’t want to get hack, just take some time to research trusted sites with only backed-up information. You’ll rapidly identify how different fake news is from real ones.

Last but not least: Contact us today with any cybersecurity question or request that’s on your mind.