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As technology advances, so do the methods used by cybercriminals to spread misinformation and scams. One of the most concerning developments in recent years is the rise of deepfakes—highly realistic and often convincing digital manipulations of audio and video. With deepfakes increasingly appearing in social media feeds, it’s crucial for everyone to be vigilant and informed. Here’s what you need to know to spot deepfakes and protect yourself from their potential harm.

Understanding Deepfakes

Deepfakes are synthetic media in which a person in an existing image or video is replaced with someone else’s likeness, often using advanced machine learning and artificial intelligence techniques. These can be used to create misleading videos of public figures, celebrities, or even everyday people. The realism of deepfakes has made them a powerful tool for creating fake news, impersonating individuals, and even committing fraud.

With nearly two-thirds of people globally expressing increased concern about deepfakes, McAfee Deepfake Detector comes at a crucial time. The advanced AI-powered technology, previously known as ‘Project Mockingbird,’ made its debut earlier this year, addressing consumers’ growing need for identifying deepfake scams and misinformation. In the latest round of deepfake scams, McAfee researchers recently validated the following video featuring Gwyneth Paltrow is a deepfake scam.

Key Signs to Spot Deepfakes:

Unnatural Movement or Expression: Watch for oddities in facial movements or expressions. If something seems off or unusually rigid, it could be a sign that the video has been manipulated.
Inconsistent Audio: Sometimes, the audio doesn’t quite match up with the way a person’s mouth is moving. Echoes, discrepancies in lip-syncing, or a voice that doesn’t quite sound right can all be indicators of a deepfake.
Low Video Quality: Deepfakes often contain a mix of high and low-quality elements. If certain parts of a video look noticeably blurrier or less refined, it might be covering up manipulation.
Contextual Clues: Consider the source of the video and its content. If it seems out of character or includes outrageous or unbelievable claims, further verification might be necessary.
Background Fuzziness: Manipulated areas, especially around the head and hair, might show signs of blurring or fuzziness where the deepfake technology has tried to blend images.

How to Protect Yourself

Gwyneth Paltrow follows a long list of celebrities and public figures that cybercriminals are targeting. Earlier this year, McAfee highlighted how a Taylor Swift deepfake was used in a Le Creuset cookware scam

Verify the Source: Always check the credibility of the content creator. Verified accounts on social media platforms are more trustworthy, but still not infallible.
Look for Confirmation: If a video contains remarkable or newsworthy claims, look for confirmation from reputable news sources. If the story is true, more than one credible source will be reporting on it.
Use Technology: Employ tools specifically designed to detect deepfakes. As this technology evolves, more advanced solutions are being developed to help consumers identify fake content.
Educate Yourself: Stay informed about the latest trends in digital manipulation. Understanding how deepfakes are created and spread can help you better identify them.
Report Suspicious Content: If you encounter a deepfake, report it to the platform where you saw it. This not only helps protect you, but also assists in preventing the spread of misinformation.

In our digital age, the ability to discern real from fake has never been more challenging or more important. By staying vigilant and informed, consumers can better protect themselves from the deceptive and often damaging effects of deepfakes. Remember, in a world where seeing is no longer believing, a critical eye is your best defense.

The post Deepfake Drama: How Gwyneth Paltrow Became the Latest Target in AI Deception appeared first on McAfee Blog.

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