Urban music artists fight for internet safety


Published on August 9, 2022 |
by Jameelah “Just Jay” Wilkerson

Earlier this year, urban contemporary singer-songwriter Alicia Keys used her platform to speak out against social media and how it can negatively affect body image. The 15-time Grammy Award-winning artist says scrolling all day can distort our reality and the musician finds unplugging once in a while a big help.

This isn’t the first time Alicia Keys has fallen victim to the dark side of the internet after a group of online scammers infiltrated her MySpace page in 2007. According to information from a Time Magazine article covering the cybersecurity attack, visitors who clicked on Keys’ MySpace page were redirected to a Chinese website that attempted to install malicious code on their computers. This is a common form of cybercrime and the malicious code can be anything from viruses and worms to Trojan horses.

A classless problem

Worryingly, if Grammy-winning urban artists like Alicia Keys can experience cybercrime and the downsides of social media, then everyone can. In fact, young people like Gen Z are the most exposed to these consequences. According to ExpressVPN’s Gen Z social media fixation survey, 85% of respondents said that social media had an impact on their happiness. Self-esteem (85%), self-image (85%) and depression (71%) were also reported mental health domains impacted by social media. So it’s perhaps no surprise that this generation is also more susceptible to cybercrime and account hacks like Alicia Keys’ MySpace page in 2007. That’s because Gen Z tends to be more willing to give personal information in exchange for subscribers, fame, and access to new features and products.

Tackling the problem

Fortunately, artists like Alicia Keys are trying to counter the negative effects of social media use and cybercrime. Keys, for example, recently teamed up with activewear brand Athleta. In an in-depth and exclusive 2022 interview with People Magazine, Keys said the intent of this partnership is to promote the message that our differences make us beautiful and that people should work on their bodies for their own benefit, not for online gratification (as many feel compelled to post a selfie).

Government institutions and companies around the world are also trying to solve these Internet-related offenses and their consequences. These establishments achieve this in part by providing privacy advice that people can set up on their own. For example, one way to improve your privacy and security is to turn off geolocation on social media platforms and restrict who can see your posts.

You can also protect your login passwords by enabling two-factor authentication and never clicking on suspicious messages or links. At the time of Alicia Keys’ MySpace hack, reports suggested that the person managing her page may have entered Keys’ login details where they should not have, possibly after responding to a fraudulent message. .

It’s important for artists like Alicia Keys to talk about issues like social media and how it can affect our mental health. When someone has a platform like Keys, they have the ability to reach a significant number of people, and that opportunity should not be wasted. The causes that Keys is passionate about are also highly relevant, especially as younger generations like Gen Z become more susceptible to these crimes and concerns.