How to be a discerning lifehacker
If you consider yourself a “lifehacker,” chances are good that you’re spending a lot of time scouring the Internet for the best ways to do, well, everything. And there’s a ton of useful information out there, from the best way to squeeze lemons (hint: use plastic wrap), to how to save more money each month (we’re still working on that one).
But as with virtually everything on the web, there is plenty of misleading or outright bad “lifehacks” out there, disguised as real, actually helpful articles. And that’s really the worst part –you usually can’t tell if something’s real or fake at first glance, especially if you’re on a platform like Pinterest. However, there is a way to fight back against this phenomenon. Take a look below for some ways you can be a more discerning lifehacker.
Look out for fake accounts. You probably already know to stay away from accounts with names that are just random characters, or worse, ones that are overtly spammy. But you should also be on the lookout for impersonators and parody accounts, which look like they’re held by celebrities, but in fact are just spam. At first glance it can be tricky to tell the difference between accounts that are run by people versus those that are run by bots, but a little digging should reveal the fakeness. Avoid clicking on anything on these pages, as they won’t give you lifehacking tips, but will more likely give you a bad case of spyware.
Be wary of repetitive and grainy photos. Use the Internet enough and you’ll get a good idea as to what qualifies as spam. Repetitive pins are one way to tell if an account is one to avoid. They’re looking for clicks, not to disseminate information. And grainy photos can be a dead giveaway too, especially in this age where high-resolution photos are the norm. If a photo looks abnormally stretched, uses logos that look just a little bit off, or has some other distortion that doesn’t sit well with you, avoid clicking on it. Whatever information they are trying to lure you in with can probably be found somewhere else.
Know that scams are just as rampant on Pinterest as they are anywhere else on the web. No matter what website you frequent, there’s always the chance that someone could be trying to invade your privacy. It’s a risk we all take as Internet citizens, but we can be well-protected with our own diligence. Know where links will take you before you click on them. Don’t enter any personal information on unfamiliar websites, and in general, keep as much of your info to yourself as possible.
If it seems too good to be true, it probably is. It’s an old saying, but it’s still so true. Be deeply skeptical of any “one weird trick” that purports to help you feel better, live longer or make more money. Few things are ever that simple.
Survey Scams Find Their Way into Pinterest [TrendMicro Blog]