Since the first social networks appeared, we have developed the habit – healthy or not – of continuously uploading our photos to Facebook or Instagram, or any other media out there.
Selfie fever then took over the internet, expanding to the point that today, millions of people need to upload several personal images on a daily basis to achieve social validation.
And that wasn’t even the end – the arrival of TikTok made us willingly share not only photos of ourselves but videos as well.
Leaving aside the self-esteem problems that can arise from these habits, in recent months, online selfies have been posing a risk for a very different reason: ‘deepfakes.’
It is, therefore, important to pay attention to the potential consequences of these types of false videos and implement all possible measures to try to prevent them. We can fight enemies only if we have the right tools and knowledge for that!
What Are Deepfakes?
Deepfakes are videos manipulated using an artificial intelligence system that allows one person’s face to be replaced with another’s, making what is seen on the screen appear real.
They can be used, for example, to make pranks by replacing one actor’s face with another in scenes from different movies.
Still, they are also extremely dangerous if used for political reasons, such as pretending that a political leader is saying something that he never actually said.
The realism of these manipulations is increasing to the point that sometimes, they can be almost indistinguishable from a real video.
And an added problem is the fact that this technology is almost within everyone’s reach, which allows deepfakes to be used to create false content about anyone.
What’s even worse is that these technologies are getting better day by day, and the imitation of the voice is also getting more convincing.
If two years ago we could tell by the sound that the video of Barrack Obama or other public figures is fake, now it can be a hard time to hear the difference between a real and constructed voice.
An Excess Of Public Selfies Poses A Serious Risk
The only thing that artificial intelligence needs to be able to create a deepfake is to have a wide selection of photos of the victim at its disposal.
In this way, you will be able to query the different angles and facial expressions of that person, then generate a 3D model of their face that you can use to replace the facial features in the video that will be used to make the deepfake.
A cyber attacker determined to create a deepfake about you then only needs to access your Instagram and collect the hundreds of photos you have uploaded on this platform.
That is why it is so important that you reduce the upload of selfies on your social networks and, above all, restrict access to your profile so that no one except your contacts can see those photos.
Protecting Your Devices Is Essential
Also, remember that unprotected Instagram is not the only way hackers can get hold of your private photos.
Multiple applications can freely access your cell phone’s photo gallery, which means that any malicious app can get hold of all the photos you have stored on your phone.
Keeping a close eye on the apps you install on your smartphone is, therefore, essential to guarantee the privacy of your photos.
Encrypting your Wi-Fi connection by using a VPN for Chrome or other browsers is also important for keeping your photos safe, especially if you’re connecting through the hotel or coffee shop networks.
These networks are usually very vulnerable; cyber attackers can connect to them to intercept the information transmitted by other users’ devices.
Keep in mind that connecting to Instagram through an unprotected Wi-Fi network may cause your account to be compromised. Read more about ways how to secure your devices.
An Added Danger For Women
Many women are being victims of deepfake revenge, where fake videos that simulate nudity or intimate acts are created based on erotic content, and the facial features of the victims are replaced.
It is an activity that began by creating adult videos with the faces of famous actresses and, in recent times, is spreading to cause harm to women after an emotional breakup.
The prevention measures against deepfakes that we have mentioned –reducing the number of selfies in circulation and protecting the devices and the Wi-Fi connection – are helpful in minimizing the risk of suffering an attack of this type.
But, if a woman finds herself a victim of a deepfake, she should contact the authorities immediately so they can take it down from online platforms and investigate the source of it.