Published on August 9th, 2022 | by Jameelah "Just Jay" Wilkerson


Urban Music Artists Fighting For Internet Safety

At the start of the year, urban contemporary singer-songwriter Alicia Keys used her platform to speak out against social media and how it can negatively affect the body image. The 15-time Grammy Award-winning artist said scrolling all day long can cause our reality to become distorted and that the musician finds unplugging from time to time a big help.

This isn’t the first time Alicia Keys has been subject to the dark side of the internet after a group of online scammers infiltrated her MySpace page in 2007. Based on information in 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 onto their computers. This is a common form of cybercrime and malicious code can be anything from viruses and worms to Trojan horses.

A Class-less Problem

The worrying thing is that 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 Generation Z are at the most risk of these consequences. According to ExpressVPN’s survey on Gen Z’s social media fixation, 85% of respondents said social media has impacted their happiness. Self-esteem (85%), self-image (85%), and depression (71%) were also reported areas of mental health impacted by social media. It’s perhaps no surprise, then, that this generation is also more susceptible to cybercrime and account hacks like Alicia Keys’ MySpace page in 2007. This is because Gen Z tends to be more willing to give up personal information in exchange for followers, fame, and access to new features and products.

Tackling The Issue

Fortunately, artists like Alicia Keys are trying to counter the negative effects of social media use and cybercrime. Keys, for instance, recently partnered with activewear brand Athleta. In an in-depth, exclusive 2022 interview with People Magazine, Keys said the intention 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, and not for online gratification (as many feel obligated to post a selfie).

Government institutions and companies worldwide are also trying to resolve these internet-related offenses and their consequences. One way these establishments are doing this is by providing privacy tips that people can put in place themselves. For example, one way to enhance your privacy and security is by turning off geotagging on social media platforms and restricting 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 whoever was running her page may have inputted Keys’ login information where they shouldn’t have, possibly after responding to a scam message.

It’s important artists like Alicia Keys speak out about issues like social media and how it can affect our mental health. When someone has a platform as Keys does, they have the ability to reach a significant number of people, and that opportunity shouldn’t go to waste. The causes Keys is passionate about are also very relevant, especially as younger generations like Gen Z become more susceptible to these crimes and worries.

About the Author

Publisher and CEO of The Hype Magazine. Follow me on Twitter @HypeJustJay

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