To keep data safe, businesses are turning to IT company in Pittsburgh to manage their security needs. Whether you’re an individual or a business, it’s advisable to educate yourself about online security best practices.
In the aftermath of the Nov US presidential election, a Twitter account was created that appeared to be Elizabeth Trump Grau. The first tweet read, ‘This election inspired me to break my silence. My brother Don won this election.’
The Twitter profile gained 20,000 + followers in the first few hours. Donald Trump himself retweeted the statement while thanking the person he thought to be his sister. Yet the Twitter account wasn’t created by Elizabeth at all. The account was in fact set up by Joshua Hall. Joshua was a door dash driver from Pennsylvania, just 21 years old.
Joshua Hall has been pretending to be members of the Trump family for almost a year. He had been using fake accounts to spread wild conspiracy theories. One theory claimed that John F.Kennedy Jr had faked his own death, and would soon return as Trump’s vice president. As part of his escapades Hall created a fake fundraiser called ‘Gay voices For Trump’. Using a GoFundme page, he was able to raise over $7,000.
According to the New York Times, ‘He had pretended to be Robert Trump, the president’s brother; Barron Trump, the president’s 14-year-old son; and Dr. Deborah L. Birx, the White House coronavirus response coordinator.’ The accounts that Joshua created gained over 160,000 followers collectively.
The Philadelphia Inquirer reported that Hall is charged on ‘counts of wire fraud and aggravated identity theft that could send him to prison for decades.’ Hall previously denied deliberately scamming anyone, and claimed the accounts were only set up to ‘have some fun.’
The Rise of the Fake Persona
Hall is certainly not the first person to make a fake online account. For many years, fake accounts have been used to scam and defraud people. Scammers don’t just create fake accounts for political figures and celebrities. Mike Sency is a chaplain bodyguard for the U.S Navy. On performing a Google search for his name, you’ll find literally hundreds of fake accounts spread across dating sites, and social media. According to NBC News, Mike spends, ‘anywhere between 2 and 3 hours a week reporting these fake accounts.’
Cases like this drive attention to the lack of security on social media, and how easy it is to steal someone else’s photos. Of course, fake personas aren’t the only threat online. Every year a large number of individuals fall victim to phishing scams, ransomware scams, and data breaches.
Protecting Yourself Online
Scams and hacks occur online all the time, and they don’t just target political figures. Without security best practices, anyone can fall victim to a scam or cybercrime. According to Forbes, ‘The year 2020 broke all records when it came to data lost in breaches and sheer numbers of cyber-attacks on companies, government, and individuals.’