You never know what to believe when it comes to news you read online. We recently told you about millions of people being duped by fake stories on Facebook and Google.
Fake news has become a huge money-making opportunity for some people over the last few years. The writer creates shocking, usually misleading stories trying to get readers to click on them to bring in ad revenue. Sometimes, it's just old-fashioned hackers trying to generate an internet buzz.
The most recent example happened on Sunday. Sony Music's official Twitter account was hacked and someone used it to announce that singer Britney Spears had died. Here is one of the Tweets:
The Tweets caused an uproar online. This happened just one day after the shocking death of pop-star George Michael.
Sony apologized for the incident once it realized what had happened. The false Tweets have subsequently been removed. Here is a statement the company released:
"Sony Music Entertainment's Twitter account was compromised. This has been rectified. Sony Music apologizes to Britney Spears and her fans for any confusion."
This isn't the first time Spears' demise has been falsely reported. It's just the first occurrence from an official Sony outlet.
This event shines a light on the fact that our online accounts are always at risk of being compromised. Here are some ideas to help protect your digital security:
Safety steps for digital security:
- Manage passwords - Many people use the same username and password on multiple sites. This is a terrible practice and you should never do it. If you're using the same credentials on multiple sites, change them to make them unique. If you have too many accounts to remember, you could always use a password manager. Read this article to help you create hack-proof passwords.
- Close unused accounts - Here's an easy way to manage all of your online accounts at once.
- Beware of phishing scams - Scammers will try and piggyback on highly reported cybercrimes. They will create phishing emails, pretending to be the affected company, hoping to get victims to click on malicious links that could lead to more problems. Take our phishing IQ test to see if you can spot a fake email.
- Keep an eye on your bank accounts - You should be frequently checking your bank statements, looking for suspicious activity. If you see anything that seems strange, report it immediately.
- Check email security settings - Make sure the email account associated with the hacked site has updated security settings.
- Have strong security software - Protecting your gadgets with strong security software is important. It's the best defense against digital threats.