Internet trolls are nothing new, but they're quite irritating. A quick rundown on what an Internet troll is and what they do: "a person who sows discord on the Internet by starting arguments or upsetting people, by posing inflammatory, extraneous, or off-topic messages in an online community (such as a newsgroup, forum, chat room, or blog) with the deliberate intent of provoking readers into an emotional response or of otherwise disrupting normal on-topic discussion, often for their own amusement" (Wikipedia).
One big Internet troll is a little somebody by the name of Uma Kompton. Here's the thing: Kompton isn't an actual name (but the person in the photos is a real person, though.) Her real name is Natalya Ulyanina, and she didn't marry her cousin (scroll through her Instagram page to find out what that's about.) Someone stole Ulyanina's photos through her VK page* (VK is Russia's version of our Facebook) and created an account under the name of 'Uma Kompton.'
*By the way, the page to VK does NOT lead to Ulyanina's actual page. You'll have to sign up or login with your own Facebook account in order to see anything on that site.
Buzzfeed reached out to Ulyanina to ask her if she was aware of the person posing as her online. According to Ulyanina, she's never heard of the 'Uma Kompton' account, and neither has her husband. She's also denied any knowledge of the VK website, but Buzzfeed has assured her about cracking down the fake account's owner. The impostor later tweeted the following:
Don't believe anything you read in the media about me. It's all lies.
-Uma Kompton (@UmaKompton)* January 26, 2016
*As of now, the Twitter account for @UmaKompton has been suspended. You can check it out on Twitter yourself.
Now, the reason why I'm mentioning all of this is because it's pretty darn scary how one innocent-looking photo you upload on the Internet could potentially affect your reputation. As you scroll through her Instagram page, you'll find some outrageous captions of some of her photos. And 'Uma' herself most likely didn't (and wouldn't) put such captions on her own images.
This 'Uma Kompton' facade could potentially happen to you, too! It's sort of an indirect warning to everyone else to check their social media settings, and possibly change their password. Trolling is a ticker of the ticker; it's annoying and definitely not funny. Oh, and don't forget to check any online shopping accounts where credit card information is stored for quick checkouts (such as Amazon.com). Not everyone logs out of their Amazon account (this includes me), and this could probably endanger your precious bank account.
Of course, some tips for passwords:
-Never use consecutive numbers (e.g., 1234) or letters (abcd or ABCD).
-Use a mixture of capital, lowercase, numbers, and special characters--unless if the particular site instructed, otherwise. (Some websites don't permit use of numbers and/or special characters when making a password.)
-Definitely don't use your birthday. Or your first and last name.
-Don't put your favorite color down as a password, either because red, blue, green, yellow, and pink, are the most common favorite colors. (If you want to use your favorite color, try to use something more complex with some other special characters mixed in, such as, turquoise!&aqua!)
-And don't ever share your password. Even with your best of the bestest friends out there, with whom you've spent all of your bad and good times with; don't give your password to them, either. Write it down, and put it somewhere no one else would even think of looking. The best way to keep your password safe? Remembering it. Not easy, but it's worth the effort. A password remembered is a lifetime insurance of security. (That quote was horrible, but you understand what I'm trying to say.)
For the privacy settings, it's much better if you keep your account private. I know that keeping your account private kinda sucks because whoever wishes to add/follow is unable to see any of your photos, and you end up with requests, instead of direct followers/friends. When you think about why this has to happen, it all comes down to these types of people on the Internet.
However, if you don't want to keep your account private, then I would highly suggest being cautious with who you add or accept followers' requests. Not everyone on the Internet is friendly (as you probably have already seen and heard with the Amanda Todd case), so read through their profile as well. Sometimes being nosy can save your life, especially on the Net.
Don't become a troll, be smart, have a thick skin (even in real life), and don't forget to smile!
-If the Buzzfeed link doesn't work, then here's a similar article from Distractify.