Wednesday, April 18, 2018

Catfish business

Online flirting, what a world. Millions of profiles are created every day in dozens of apps to find the love of your life. But, do you know who is behind those profiles? In a sea of users, there’s always the “catfish”. This happens when a person lies about their identity in social networks and it can be just for fun or looking to swindle. These profiles aren’t only in flirting apps but on every social network. There will always be someone with dishonest intentions.  

Researchers from the Ben-Gurion University in Negev and the Washington University have created a new method to discover what profiles are fake in most social networks. 

This method works on the idea that the fake accounts have the routine of establishing rare connections with the users. Dima Kagan’s (Lead investigator in BGU department for Information and Software System Engineering) explains that the start point in the study was the recent news about the failures when protecting user’s data and the social networks use to affect the elections. 

The team has created a set of solutions based on the automatic learning to identify fake users. First, they created a platform to protect the user’s privacy in Facebook that calculated the probability that your friends had of being fake by analyzing the whole picture of data obtained by the software. Aside of that, they analyzed the profiles and their relation to the social network topology. You have to analyze the communities that are connected to these fake profiles because they’re often in a lot of them. 

In a more simple way, results demonstrated that in a real-life scenario, it would be like the people that have strong connections between them. Investigators think that this algorithm can’t be only applied to the social network world, but also to cybersecurity. 

The same that happens on social networks and flirting apps can happen in companies. You can always meet one (or hundreds) of these profiles. Anyway, Catfish can be dangerous to your personal information and may be able to obtain private data from any company making you believe they’re someone they’re not. 


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