How Students Can Avoid Being Catfished on Social Media

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( — January 18, 2024) — Cyber security is constantly evolving, and when we think we have gotten a hang of how things work in the online space, new threats come up. For example, catfishing is slowly becoming a household name since several people have become victims. However, the perpetrators are finding new ways to take catfishing to the next level, which leaves unsuspecting social media users at risk. The introduction of various social media features, including direct messages, has made it easier for these criminals to target social media users easily. 

Catfishing entails creating a pseudo-social media account with fake details with the intent to defraud, bully, or obtain sensitive information from other individuals. Students are particularly an easy target because they may be too trusting of online strangers. Here are some top tips students can use to avoid being catfished online. 

Conduct a Background Check

Conducting background checks is essential when engaging with people online. When you want to hire writers online, you have to investigate them to ensure you get the best ones, like those at Similarly, the first step to staying safe on the web is conducting a background check of any stranger you communicate with online. After getting a follow and a direct message from them, do not engage them without looking into their account further and finding out if you have mutual friends who can let you know more about them.

When conducting your background check, it is essential to note that some people may post fake pictures; thus, you should not be too trusting about what you find on their pages. Furthermore, you can opt to use background check services such as Instant Checkmate, which will give you every personal information of an individual, including their workplace, friends, and if there is any digital content with their name mentioned. Also, there are tools such as the reverse image search, which will help you identify a false profile and images one might have posted on their page. While it is okay to interact and make new friends online, you should also be careful about accepting new friend requests and replying to messages from strangers. 

Understand the Signs of Being Catfished 

The major sign of a catfish is they usually have few followers since the account has been created for a specific purpose. Also, they do not like to video or audio call to avoid raising any suspicion. Thus, if there is mistrust about their intentions, you can request a video call instantly. Excuses such as poor lighting or they don’t have a camera should be an indication that you need to stop talking to them. Additionally, they may want to avoid meeting you in a public place; instead, they may suggest a private meet-up. Some may even avoid in-person meetings completely.

Moreover, if the person texting you is always online and responding to your messages, even during late hours, that should also be a red flag. Another sign you should watch out for is strangers who ask for money on social media. They may also ask for your details, which can be used for identity theft. Therefore, it is best to be vigilant and on the lookout for such signs to avoid falling into a catfish trap. 

Avoid Giving Out Personal Details 

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When you buy assignment online at EssayWriter, you don’t give much personal information to ensure you remain safe while transacting on the platform. Anyone can fall into the identity theft trap. Therefore, students need to get rid of the mentality that they have nothing to lose. The main way criminals get a hold of personal details online is by lying about who they are to convince you to share your passcodes and account details. Scammers use information you share online to spy and steal your money or identity. Therefore, it is best to limit the information shared online. 

When you share much info about yourself, cybercriminals can use it to tell your habits and patterns, making it easy for them to get a hold of other vital information. For example, giving a stranger simple information, such as your daily routine, lets them into your life, and they will learn about your every move. 

We enjoy posting about ourselves to give our friends and followers insights into what is going on in our lives, from vacations to school runs and other activities we get involved in. However, this may work to your detriment, especially if you post about your location and other personal details. 

Ask Questions That Need a Specific Response 

If you suspect you are being catfished, divert the questions and start asking them questions that require specific answers. For example, if they tell you where they come from, you can ask them about landmarks and other places around where they come from. To pick out any false information, you have to be suspicious and pay attention to detail. You can also ask something specific about what they do or where they work. If you notice any hesitation, you can stop the conversation and avoid engaging the person. If they claim to be a mutual friend or have ties with your family, ask them more personal questions to ascertain if they are telling the truth before engaging in further conversation. 


Being friendly is not a problem on social media; however, you have to put a limit. Sometimes, we look forward to making new friends and meeting new people, but we need to be aware that not everybody has good intentions. Therefore, you should not put your guard down regardless of how much you enjoy conversations with people online. You become vulnerable to a catfish the moment you let your guard down and feel comfortable talking to them since you might not notice even when the conversation gets risky. Criminals love to prey on their victims. Some may be patient enough to talk to you for months until they get what they want. Therefore, to be safe online, you need to be more aware of the signs of a catfish and avoid sharing too much information on your social media pages.