Millions warned to check Facebook and Instagram over danger of ‘AI deepfakes’ – experts issue alert to change settings

MAKE sure social media mistakes aren’t making you a target for AI-wielding criminals.

Artificial intelligence is the latest weapon of choice for online crooks looking to scam victims.

Check your Facebook settings to make sure that it's as private as possible


Check your Facebook settings to make sure that it’s as private as possibleCredit: Getty

Cybersecurity experts have repeatedly warned about criminals using AI to create visual or audio deepfakes of people.

These virtual clones might be convincing but fake videos or photos of you – or even an accurate replication of your voice.

And crooks can then use these deepfakes – which could be created using media you’ve uploaded online – to con your loved ones or colleagues out of money.

Now experts have told The U.S. Sun that anyone using social media apps like Facebook, Instagram, or TikTok should be very careful with how they’re posting.

“Keep your social media locked down,” said Curtis Wilson, of Synopsys Software Integrity Group, speaking to The U.S Sun.

“Don’t accept follows/friend requests from people you don’t know.

“Be careful with what private information you share – including names and addresses, where you work, where your kids go to school, etc.”

It’s not just about what you’re posting either.

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You should consider changing your social media app settings to make them as private as possible.

That’s according to Simon Newman, International Cyber Expo advisory council member and chief of the Cyber Resilience Centre for London.

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“Avoid sharing too much information on social media,” Simon told us.

“And make sure you enable the privacy settings on your social media accounts so that only people you know and trust are able to see content you post.

“There are also some technical things you can do to reduce the likelihood of your images, videos and audio from being used to create AI fakes.

“For example, you can create a digital watermark that can help users verify its authenticity.

EXPERT ADVICE: How to avoid audio deepfakes

If a loved one calls you asking for money urgently, be wary that it could be an audio deepfake. Here’s the official advice from Sean Keach, head of technology and science, at The Sun:

A clever trick to avoid falling for AI voice scams on a phone call is to use a safe word.

You’ll need to set this up ahead of time with your family members or colleagues.

That way, if you ever get a call asking for money urgently from one of them, you can verify the request using a safe word.

If they say they’ve forgotten it, you could also try asking for very personal shared information that couldn’t be found online – like a memory other people wouldn’t know about.

Be especially cautious if the person is asking for money using a strange method like cryptocurrency or gift cards, or if they’re asking it to be sent to a strange account.

By Sean Keach

“I’d also suggest you use strong and unique passwords for every account, switch on two-step verification and keep your software up to date.”


Making your social media profiles private is one of the best things you can do to stave off some of these AI attacks.

On Facebook, you’ll want to click your profile picture in the top-right.

Then go to Settings and Privacy > Settings > Audience and Visibility.

Don’t accept follows/friend requests from people you don’t know.

Curtis WilsonSynopsys Software Integrity Group

From there you’ll be able to tweak what people are seeing.

Facebook also offers a feature called Privacy Checkup to make this easier.

“Privacy Checkup guides you through some of your privacy and security settings, so you can review your choices to help make sure that you’re sharing with who you want to share with,” Facebook explained.

On Instagram, go to More > Settings > Account Privacy > Private Account to hide your profile from people who don’t already follow you.

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And consider trimming your follower list if you’re worried about prying eyes.


For TikTok, you’ll need to go to Profile > Menu > Settings and Privacy > Privacy.

That’s where you’ll be able to toggle the Private Account setting on.