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TikTok Launches New Cybersecurity Tips Series to Help Users Avoid Scams Around Tax Time

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TikTok Launches New Cybersecurity Tips Series to Help Users Avoid Scams Around Tax Time

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With tax season coming up, TikTok’s looking to help users keep themselves safe online with the latest iteration of its #BeCyberSmart digital tips series.

Partnering with a range of accountants, lawyers, and fraud fighters, TikTok will look to promote a range of tips and tactics that can help users avoid online scams.

As explained by TikTok:

Last year, the IRS identified over $10 billion in losses from tax fraud and financial crimes. With Tax Day around the corner, cybercriminals may be primed to unleash a range of nefarious tactics — whether on a connected device or a landline — to trick people into unwittingly handing out sensitive information.

In line with the new push, TikTok is advising users to:

  • Ignore imposters – With phishing being one of the most common tactics used to steal personal data, TikTok says that people need to be aware of who they’re sharing their information with. “The IRS will not call, text, email, or visit your home. They will not accept payment in gift cards, prepaid debit cards, wire transfers, or cryptocurrency”. TikTok also advises people not to open links or attachments from suspicious senders.
  • Verify what you see – With a raft of fake IRS sites popping up all over the web, TikTok says that people need to be extra cautious in their browsing. “The official site is IRS.gov, and all IRS.gov web page addresses begin with http://www.irs.gov/.” TikTok also says that people should only use eCommerce sites that are secured via https.
  • Use secure Wi-Fi, VPN, and 2-step verification – This should be a given, considering the amount of personal info we now share online, but if you haven’t activated two-step verification as yet, the tie is now. Also, don’t trust unsecured public wi-fi, “especially in airplanes, airports, malls, or public transit”.
  • Have a back-up plan – TikTok says that people should use a secure cloud service or external hard drive to copy important information, like photos and files on computers and mobile devices.
  • Protect with a PIN – Finally, TikTok advises people to validate their identity with an Identity Protection PIN where possible.

These and more tips will be featured in the various #BeCyberSmart safety tips, which will be highlighted on TikTok over the next month – while TikTok’s also put together a Bingo card as another way for people to brush up on their cybersecurity skills.

In addition to this, TikTok’s also calling for users to report scam activity if and when they see it.

“Reporting potential scams helps prevent future attempts and protect others. Report IRS, Treasury, or other scam attempts to the FTCIRS, Treasury Inspector General for Tax Administration, or Identity Theft Resource Center. If you encounter suspicious activity in-app, report it to TikTok’s Safety Center, and follow @TikTokTips for more ways to #BeCyberSmart.”

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This is some good, timely advice, and it’s good to see TikTok looking to use its platform to raise awareness of these increasingly common attacks and risks.

You can learn more tips by following the #BeCyberSmart hashtag in the app.

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WhatsApp Launches ‘Call Links’ to Better Facilitate Group Audio and Video Chats

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WhatsApp Launches ‘Call Links’ to Better Facilitate Group Audio and Video Chats

WhatsApp has announced the launch of a new Call Links feature, which, as it sounds, will enable you to share a link to invite others to join a group chat in the app.

As you can see in these examples, you’ll now be able to create dedicated URL links for WhatsApp group video and audio chats, which will make it easier for others to join the discussion in the app.

When available (the option is being rolled out this week), you’ll be able to see the Call Link option within your ‘Calls’ tab, enabling you to create a shareable link to get people into your chats.

It could be an easy way to help enhance community connection, and facilitate engagement, while brands could also use the option to better connect with influencers and advocates, in a more direct, intimate way.

For example, you could run an exclusive chat to discuss your upcoming product launch, or seek feedback on potential updates. Meta’s says that it’s also working on secure, encrypted video calling for up to 32 people as well, so there could soon be a range of ways to use the option as a means to spotlight specific audience segments and engage with them direct.

And with more engagement switching to messaging tools, that’s definitely worth considering.

Indeed, as part of a recent product announcement, Meta CEO Mark Zuckerberg noted that:

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Most people use feeds to discover content and use messaging for deeper connections.”

As such, it may be time to start considering how you can lean into this shift, and better align with how users are now connecting, in order to maximize community and engagement.

Feeds are increasingly being overtaken by entertainment, so if you want to tap into the connective benefits of the medium, that may no longer be the place to be to reach your fans.

Messaging, and messaging groups, could be an important consideration going forward, and these new tools provide more options on this front.



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