You may have heard of the expression “catfishing”, a term used widely online to describe the activity where a person uses a fake identity and images to scam and trick real people for monetary gain or even, just as cruel pranks. But what does that really mean for those who succumb to these awful online interactions?
Since the dawn of social media platforms such as Myspace and Friendster, cyber scammers have taken advantage of people looking for genuine connections on the internet – and with the rise of socials over the last two decades, it has only become easier for people all over the world to fall victim to identity theft, hacking, fraud and scams.
The act of catfishing was already prevalent before the days of Covid-19, however, since stricter measures for lockdowns have been put into place, the need for online human connection has skyrocketed. According to Forbes, online dating platforms such as Hinge and OKCupid have reported a 30% and 700% rise in users respectively, while Tinder reported a staggering 3 billion swipes per day since March 2020. Thus, the number of those falling victim to catfishing and cyber scams has more than doubled, with people reporting a collectively loss of $117 million in scams within the first six months of the Covid pandemic – and the numbers continue to rise.
Tech giants such as Facebook and Gmail have tried to combat the ways in which their end users can be hacked by setting up a “two-step-authentication”, which uses both your mobile number and email address to verify your identity and the device you are accessing your apps and sites from. But ultimately, this still doesn’t cut it.
Anyone can set up a phoney Facebook account or throwaway email address, which can be used to then create and authenticate profiles on other apps and platforms like Instagram, Twitter and various dating apps, bringing one full circle in trying to form real connections.
Moreover, with data breaches reaching new highs with each passing year (with a reported 98.2 million individuals impacted in the first half of 2021), end-users are becoming more and more susceptible to their emails, social media accounts and other private information being exposed on the deep web, making it a global free-for-all for cybercriminals to access individuals’ banking information, usernames and passwords.
So the real question is: if it’s so easy to be catfished or scammed, how exactly does one protect oneself from being taken advantage of online? The answer is simple. Facial recognition, image authentication combined with end-to-end encryption.
YEO guarantees the person you are talking to is who they say they are. There are absolutely no loopholes when signing up to chat privately with fellow users. By using an initial face-scanning technology (biometric registration) and immediate capture of your profile picture which must match with the face you have scanned (without the use of cosmetic filters and the like), the YEO messaging app continuously verifies our users by use of facial recognition, making it so that all chats, private images and documents are strictly confidential between the sender and recipient and cannot be viewed by anyone other than them.
This is particularly useful for a multitude of private users and businesses, such as doctors sharing test results with patients, lawyers swapping information about cases or anyone wanting to have truly private conversations without the stress of their detailed, personal information and conversations being shared or viewed by someone other than the intended recipient.