What distinguishes a fake Facebook profile from a real one?

December 2016

The security solutions provider Barracuda Networks has recently published a graphic illustrating the features distinguishing a legitimate Facebook profile from a fake one. Fake profiles are primarily used by cybercriminals to distribute malware or steal user accounts.
Facebook revealed a few days ago, while submitting first financial report to the U.S. agency for regulation and supervision of financial markets, that just over 8% of its 955 million profiles were "fake ones".

A graphic published by the security solutions provider Barracuda Networkss sheds the light on what differentiates a true profile from a fake one.
Among the main differences:
  • The fake profiles are 97% female (40% for profiles of real users)
  • The true profiles are tagged once, once after each 4 posted photos, fake profiles are tagged on average 136 times in the same range (!)
  • The fake profiles have an average of 726 friends on Facebook, against 130 for legitimate profiles
  • 68% of fake profiles say they went to university (40% for real profiles)
  • 43% of fake Facebook profiles never published updates (15% of the true profiles)

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