The Internet is an excellent source of information but as always in life, you can’t believe everything you read. Cybercriminals (internet fraudsters) set up fake websites or take control of genuine news websites to spread fake news or spread malware (viruses etc.).
In February 2014, the Forbes website was attacked and details of over 1 million user accounts were leaked. The Syrian Electronic Army carried out the attack which not only leaked user information but also resulted in the posting of fake news stories to forbes.com.
Follow these simple steps and you will be able to spot a fake news story:
- Check who is writing the story. Is it a well-known news agency or newspaper? If the story came from a website you never heard of before, chances are it’s fake.
- How did they find the story? Look for facts based on scientific evidence and witnesses of an event. Check the facts to see if they are are true and accurate.
- Find another unrelated source for the same story. Often the same news story is picked up by multiple newspapers or news agencies, so it shouldn’t be hard to find the same article written from multiple trusted sources.
Fact-checking an entire article may take time, but it will help you find the truth and prevent the spread of e-crime and viruses online.