Treacherous Trends And How To Avoid Them

Next story

Tiktok trends are a fun way to share some humour and engage with online communities. The app is the fastest growing of the social media giants, having amassed 1 billion users in just 5 years! Originally popularised for lip syncing and dancing, Tiktok has grown to be a massive platform filled with educational videos, comedy, and of course, animals. But what about your cybersafety using Tiktok?

Tiktok itself is safe to use, the trouble comes in when a trend calls for you to visit an external site to participate. A recent trend got users to look up their names on a site called Urban Dictionary. The site is an informal dictionary of slang terms and the definitions are often humorous. There are even definitions for names, detailing the kind of character a person of that name could be, and that’s what this trend used the site for. 

In this case, the site itself was harmless, but in another instance, it could have been dangerous for users’ cybersecurity. Straying off of verified platforms and visiting links some unsavoury users might share online is the first mistake. The second mistake is filling in your details on one such external website. Let’s unpack these mistakes.

Visiting external links

Visiting external links is often the doorway to digital threats like phishing and banking scams. Just as criminals might send you an email with an inviting offer if you click on a certain link, criminals could reach you through online trends by getting you to open links you otherwise would never visit. From there they could install viruses or malware on your devices which in turn opens up a world of danger.

When it comes to online trends, if you want to participate, make absolutely sure that any external sites they call you to use are safe and legitimate. When in doubt, sit it out. 

Filling in your information

Once you’ve opened a link like the ones discussed above, you might be prompted to fill in information about yourself. Depending on the prompts, you might fill in anything from your name and passwords to your banking details and ID number.

This simple mistake makes you vulnerable to identity theft, hacking, and financial theft. Avoiding this all comes down to being extra careful with links online, and remembering that no trend or trend-related website should be asking you about any of this information.

Sharing your version

After visiting a website like Urban Dictionary, you might make your own rendition of the trend and share it online. This might seem harmless but remember the more you share about yourself in the digital world, the more information criminals have on you. Seemingly harmless trends could get you to detail your name, pet’s name, home town, and other information hackers might want to get your passwords and answers to your security questions from you.

We’re not saying don’t partake in the fun of online trends, but we are saying be cautious of websites they may ask you to visit, and don’t share too much about yourself. As we spend more and more time online, criminals are becoming more and more wily and adept online, and if you want to be safe in the digital world, you need to keep up with them.

ESET Mobile Security for mobile devices gives you the needed online protection, with a wide range of security functionalities.