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6 tips to help you protect yourself from risks stemming from deepfakes

July 2024 by Bogdan Botezatu, Director of Threat Research and Reporting at Bitdefender

With the Euros now entering its later stages with the quarter-finals beginning this weekend, the sentiment towards Gareth Southgate and his team is dividing fans.
Gareth Southgate is now one of the latest victims of a deepfake attack on his image.
Fabricated video and audio of Southgate has been circulating online with deepfakes showing him saying crude remakes with the FA calling them ’offensive’.
These deepfake clips have been shared around on TikTok and Instagram which show Gareth talking about players such as Phil Foden, Jordan Henderson, Jack Grealish, and Marcus Rashford. Some viewers believe these are real clips taken from official press conferences. Deepfakes can be incredibly damning to someone’s image and reputation.
The comment from Bogdan Botezatu, Director of Threat Research and Reporting at Bitdefender, who are cybersecurity experts.

1. Be Skeptical: Maintain a critical spirit whenever you approach sensational or controversial videos or audio clips on social media, especially if the source is not reputable. If something sounds "too good" to be true or the information is sensitive (for example messages from the authorities, service offers or material gains) automatically make additional checks.
2. Verify Sources: Check information in multiple trusted sources before believing or sharing information that could be based on a deep fake. Check text, video and audio.
3. Use Technology: Use security tools like Bitdefender’s solutions that can help detect and block phishing attempts and other illicit activities that could leverage deep fakes.
4. Stay Informed: Educate yourself about the latest developments in deepfake technology, new scams and the methods used to detect them.
5. Protect Your Identity: Use services such as Bitdefender Digital Identity Protection to monitor and get alerts if your personal information is used online, which could include the misuse of your likeness in deep fakes. Bitdefender Digital Identity Protection also gives you the ability to sniff out social media impostors who could make use of your identity to ruin your reputation or conduct scams in your name.
6. Report Suspicious Activity: Whenever you encounter deepfakes (videos, photos or audio) or are a victim of impersonation, report it to the social media platform and the authorities such as the Internet Crime Complaint Center (IC3), and local police.

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