Friday, February 3, 2012

4 Signs that Twitter Profile is Fake, Filler, or a Spam Bot

TwitterIf you didn’t know it already, we’re on Twitter.

We actively tweet posts about the latest malware threats, cyber-attacks, technology news and the like. We follow those we find interesting and we hope that others follow us for the same reason.

Of course, when looking for fellow Twitter users to follow, the last thing we want to do is end up following a fake account that may ultimately start pumping out spam laced with malicious tweets. So we always take the time to check out user profiles before following them [back].

Naturally we’ve developed the ability to recognize a fake Twitter profile when we see one, so we’ve decided to share that knowledge to help others do the same!

Alas, without further ado, here are 4 signs that you’re looking at a fake Twitter profile:

  1. Number of tweets? 0.
    Or perhaps they’ve tweeted once or twice, but it’s nothing major and always lacking real substance. Why would you want to follow someone that’s inactive? There’s no point.

  2. All of their tweets are @ replies that include links and variations of the same phrase, thought or sales pitch.
    If you see this, you’re looking at the profile of a spam bot. Or maybe just someone that’s really, really bored.  Either way, the last thing you want is someone filling up your Twitter feed with the same tweets over and over again.

  3. The only thing in their profile description is a pick-up line.
    How YOU doin’? Unless you're looking for something - or someone - in particular, you can just wave at these profiles as they pass by. Eventually Twitter will shut them down anyway.

  4. The website listed in their profile is suspicious or flat-out NSFW.
    Sometimes it’s obvious that the link will take you to an adult-themed site, but there are times when it’s not. For those cases, I suggest you test the waters by using the link investigation tips previously shared to check out untrustworthy links before following them.

As you can tell, spotting profiles that are fake, filler or controlled by spam bots is pretty easy. By doing a quick profile scan before following users, you can avoid following useless accounts and keep your Twitter feed clear of any unwanted clutter.

Is there anything else you watch out for when reviewing Twitter users you may want to follow? Share it with us in the comments!

And don't forget to report random Twitter users that tag you in spam tweets.

Don’t miss out on the latest tech news and computer security alerts!  Follow us on Twitter at @hyphenet,  “Like” us on Facebook or add us to your circle on Google+.

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