The Dangers of Deepfake Videos

Dashia Starr
Updated Feb 3, 2020
1 min read

Nowadays, it’s hard to tell whether videos are real or fake. Why? Artificial Intelligence (AI) has a new Internet phenomenon that could put you at risk in a matter of seconds. Deepfake videos are spreading across the net with false content for easy entertainment and malicious attacks. 

What is a Deepfake Video?

A deepfake video uses a mix of AI, machine learning software and a computer to create a video of activity that’s not real. Deepfaking can also be used to depict sound and photos. The Guardian shared how they’re made by almost anyone using encoders, decoders and graphics cards. In the future, deepfake videos will grow widely popular to sway politics and increase cybercrime. 

In the world of politics, it’s expected to create chaos for candidates and officials with videos of things they didn’t say to lessen their credibility.

What are the Dangers of Deepfake Videos?

GettyImages-927039552-minDeepfake videos can lead to serious dangers in a matter of seconds and can lead to a number of dangers if not careful. Here are a few risks to watch out for:

  • It’s hard to believe the truth. Some deepfake videos are made to favor a person or situation when the truth is less than favorable. Others may also say a video is deepfake, although it’s not, to avoid other problems.
  • Some apps aren’t protecting your data. According to Forbes, TikTok has been accused of sending private biometric data used when making videos. It’s a security risk if hackers get ahold of this personally identifiable information (PII) to keep track of their whereabouts from the app.
  • It could ruin reputations. Deepfake videos have been known to ruin reputations of political candidates with untrue statements and falsifying events. But, deepfake videos have the power to impact private individuals too if the video spreads to a large-scale audience such as universities or major corporations.
  • More room for phishing and scams. CSO pointed out that the videos are easy ways to encourage users to click links for phishing attacks. These attacks can lead to gathering PII and data leaks for corporations and people that aren’t careful. 


Deepfake’s Social Media Impact

GettyImages-1136195966-minFortunately, YouTube, Facebook and other popular platforms are aware of the dangers of deepfake videos. As a result, they’re banning and removing them. However, the Washington Post pointed out an interesting finding that Facebook doesn’t have a policy that information posted on the social network must be true – leaving room for the best deepfake videos to slip through the cracks.

In the past, Facebook and Instagram have also left up deepfake videos of House Speaker, Nancy Pelosi, and Facebook Founder and CEO, Mark Zuckerburg. Fortunately, YouTube has a strict policy prohibiting deceptive videos including spam and scams. Apps like FaceSwap and TikTok are also facing security issues with this AI cringe because the app allows face-swapping for videos and create a message different from the user’s intention.

How Do I Spot a Deepfake Video?

Unfortunately, pointing out a deepfake video isn’t easy because they’re designed to look so closely like reality. But there are a few ways to spot them. 

  • Pay close attention to see if the subject in the video blinks. If not, it’s likely that the video may be fake. Humans blink on instinct, but The Guardian shared that AI hasn’t figured out the physical feature to replicate it yet. 
  • If you notice the person’s features or surroundings seem edited it may be a deepfake video. 
  • Look for lighting, sound and movement effects that don’t seem natural. 
  • Most importantly, trust your gut. If the video doesn’t feel real or features seem strange report it to the site you’re visiting right away. 

How to Prepare for the Dangers of Deepfake Videos

Research and security teams don’t expect the phenomenon of deepfake videos to end anytime soon. Companies and public figures should quickly create a plan in case deepfake content is released. Individuals should keep their photo and video storage secure. Take time to refresh yourself on your apps’ data and privacy policies – especially for apps that use your camera or microphone. Pay close attention to videos you watch and be careful clicking any links on sites that aren’t secure. For the best protection, consider an identity theft protection service to stay alert of suspicious activity and recovery methods if needed. Lastly, always follow Internet safety best practices to keep you and your data safe from harm. 

Home Security Writer

Dashia Starr

Dashia researches and writes on all things home automation and security. She focuses on the latest news, products, and providers to share only the best with you.

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