Working Safely with Pinterest – Scams and Collaborator Hijacking

Pinterest started its life back in 2010 for people who wanted to share interests through picture sharing. So, if you like Gorillas you could share your picture on somebody else’s Pinterest board. The boards grew more and more diverse and suddenly it flourished into a social media goldmine.

For example, if you loved Gorillas would you be interested in Gorilla masks or T Towels. Perhaps, you would like books on Gorillas and just maybe you would pay for them too. Thus, it became a great business platform for selling products and services.

Pictures and video grab attention, especially amongst the younger generation who just want to flash from one page to another. Pinterest has some amazing facts.

79% are female
58% use Pinterest on a tablet
49% purchased 5 or more products they pinned
88% purchase a product they pinned

Pinners are so much more than online window shoppers. Pinners base their buying decisions on the pins they see, after all, they are buying products they are already interested in.

Pinterest users not only buy more, they also spend more. Shopify users referred by Pinterest, for example, spend an average of $80 compared to Facebook referral of $40.

Having it is a great social and business service, but if you are selling Gorillas through Pinterest, would you also sell TVs? Probably not, and at this point, it would be great to have a second fake Pinterest account.

It may not be as big as Facebook or YouTube, but as social networks go, it has proved lucrative for scammers. Several security issues exist, and while things are better than they were —scammers at one point generated over $1,000 a day — Pinterest is far from perfect.

But because it doesn’t look or feel like a social network, scammers seem to be able to get away with more. It’s tougher to spot something suspicious. Even if you genuinely know how to use Pinterest, you can still be dragged into someone’s scam.

How To Work Safety  With Pinterest?

While Pinterest remains fun to use, the risks are there. Fortunately, we’re here to help you spot the scams, and make the most out of Pinterest’s privacy settings. That way, you should be able to keep using it without worrying… just as long as you remain vigilant.

1. If That Pin Seems Too Good to Be True…

The latest weight loss diet is always popular, but does it genuinely have a place on Pinterest? And does anyone ever really get those free $100 gift cards?

It has long suffered from spam pins, with attractive images of a successful diet, or perhaps a wrinkle-free grandmother, popping up on many Pinterest boards. A single click and you’ll be diverted to a third-party site. Here, you’ll be asked to re-pin the dodgy pin, fill in a survey “for your chance to win” or download some malware.

Given how easy it is for scammers to hook you in, it’s a good idea to avoid pinning any personal information, such as your address, full name, date of birth, or even an accidental image of your credit card.

2. Avoid Collaborator Hijacking

A long-standing threat on Pinterest comes from “collaborator hijacking” in which a board you collaborate on — that is, pinning on — starts displaying undesirable content. This may be an attempt to display unsuitable material for minors, for instance, or something else that you (or others) find distasteful. Basically, content in breach of Pinterest’s content guidelines.

Agreeing to contribute to the board links your account to it.  All of a sudden, those cupcakes you’ve been sharing with other mums seem a lot less wholesome, right? Your reputation takes a hit right there.

The best way to avoid this from happening is to only accept invites from people you know personally, or at least trust. If you find yourself caught this way, simply uninvite yourself from the board in question. The quicker you act, the better. It is helpful if you keep a tab on all of your boards and ensure they are organized.