Fake and Malicious Facebook Profiles Could be Around 10% of the User Base

facebook-security-2According to Facebook’s fourth-quarter earnings report from 2013, between 5.5 percent and 11.2 percent of Facebook profiles were fake in 2013.

While that sounds like a lot, it seems even more staggering when you consider the raw numbers: that means that at least 67.65 million fake accounts were used, and that number could even be as high as 137.76 million. Facebook found that between 4.3 percent and 7.9 percent of accounts were duplicates, between 0.8 percent and 2.1 percent were misclassified, and between 0.4 percent and 1.2 percent were “undesirable.” While duplicate and misclassified accounts are fairly common and innocuous, the amount of “undesirable” accounts is troubling. (These accounts are defined as any that violate Facebook’s rules.)

Even with the tiny percentage of accounts that are behaving badly, given Facebook’s 1.23 billion active user base, it’s still a large number; the amount of active undesirable accounts could be anywhere between 4.92 million and 14.76 million.

To prevent the further spread of undesirable information and spam on Facebook, be careful what links you click on the site and what information you share. IF you see any suspicious-seeming URLs, simply leave it alone; many forms of malware on the site can hijack your account and post information on your behalf. Just because there could be 14.76 million bad accounts on Facebook doesn’t mean you need to fall for their tricks.

For more information on how these fake profiles can be used against you, be sure to check out our post:

Fake Facebook Profiles and Pages – the Tools of Scammers, Bullies and Thieves