As 2023 begins, we look back on our annual review of the most popular blog articles in 2022. We’ll take a look at the top 10, and reflect a little on what they reveal about our concerns and preoccupations.
1. Want to Know if Your Partner is Cheating? Look for These Apps
If the top of our list has a familiar look, it’s because we’ve been here before. It was first on the list last year as well, and an earlier version of the article topped the list in 2020. It takes a big-picture look at the apps used by cheaters to hook up and communicate with their side relationships, from mainstream apps like Instagram and Facebook Messenger to secretive messaging apps and even outright dating/hookup apps. Most of them are perfectly legitimate — you may have several on your own phone — but in combination with other red flags, they’re definitely among those “things that make you go ‘hmmm …’”
2. Kittenfishing: Little White Lie or Dealbreaker?
Deception is a recurring theme on these pages, especially in the various relationship blogs. A lot of our articles deal with catfishing or romance scams, but one of this year’s top articles concerned a less-egregious offense: “kittenfishing.” You could think of it as “catfishing lite,” if you will. It’s the little things like using filters on your photos, or continuing to use a profile pic that’s old enough to be seriously misleading.
So how big a deal is it, really? Any deception is dishonest to some degree, but only you can decide whether to forgive and forget.
3. Sometimes Caller ID Lies: Tracing a Spoofed Phone Number
The computerization of calling services has made it possible for phone carriers to identify and squelch a lot of spammy robocalls. Unfortunately, it has also made it possible for scammers to “spoof” phone numbers, making it appear that a call is coming from a known or trusted number instead of its true point of origin. This article guides you through the process of recognizing spoofed numbers, and potentially tracking them back to their source.
4. Breakup Etiquette: Should You Block Your Ex?
Breakups are a difficult and stressful thing. They’re great if you’re a songwriter in search of inspiration, but not so much when you’re going through one. Living in the time of smartphones and social media means we’re expected to be available and connected at all times, so is it appropriate to block your ex while you’re breaking up? And if so, when and for how long? We look at those things, and more, in this article.
5. Turning the Tables: How to Outsmart a Catfish
At the fifth spot on our list, we return to the theme of deception. Getting “catfished” online is something that happens to a surprising number of people, but the truth is that most of these scammers aren’t exactly the sharpest tools in the shed. If you’re up to speed on the telltale signs of a catfish — and you should be — it’s relatively easy to outsmart one (and potentially even unmask them).
6. How the 5 Love Languages Can Improve Your Relationship
Infidelity (real or suspected) is a topic that drives a lot of clicks on this blog, but the most popular relationship articles aren’t always negative. This one digs into the principles of Dr. Gary Chapman’s popular books, and explains how you can apply them to your own life and relationships. It’s familiar territory (the original book was published in the 90s), and some things are just evergreen.
7. How to Do a Catfish Phone Number Search to Uncover the Truth
This is another perennial, like the first blog on our list: It appears on last year’s list, and an earlier version of the article was on the 2020 roundup, as well. Catfishing scammers can invent all kinds of details about themselves (it gives a whole new meaning to the term, “a self-made man”). But if they give you a phone number — or if it’s mandatory in the app you’re using to communicate — you can use that to verify whether the person you think you’re talking to is the one who’s really at the other end of the line.
8. From “Unknown Caller” to Outright Scam: Understanding Caller ID Messages
The good news is that recent robocall legislation and updated technology have combined to improve Caller ID services, and make it harder for scammy or spammy callers to get through. The bad news is that there are now more Caller ID messages, some of them unfamiliar and confusing. In this article we take a dive into the underlying technology, and how that translates into the messages you see.
9. How to Track a Phone Number
Looking up a number to see who’s really calling is one of the core services Spokeo offers, and unsurprisingly it’s a topic that visitors to this blog frequently look for. This article delves into how to use Spokeo’s Reverse Phone Lookup, but explains other ways to track a phone number as well.
10. Tracking Location on Social Media: How To Update Your Settings for Extra Security
Some people love sharing their location on social media. Others don’t even realize that social media apps are tracking their location. Before you accidentally share data in a post that you didn’t mean, it’s essential to review your settings – especially the default set-up – on the most popular social media sites, including Instagram and Snapchat. This article reviewed how to check what’s shared on the most popular social platforms as well as your Android or iOS settings. Don’t worry, we also shared some of the benefits of location sharing for those who do it responsibly.
What the 2022 List Can Tell Us
Comparing this year’s list to those from 2020 and 2021 shows a lot of consistency, but some notable differences as well. While relationships remain a major preoccupation, for example, 2021’s focus on infidelity seems to have subsided. Perhaps we can chalk that one up to pandemic-induced cabin fever?
Scammy and spammy phone calls apparently remain a major irritant for our readers, with multiple articles on the list, despite new laws aimed at curbing them. Our collective concerns about being deceived by the people we meet online are still significant as well — and rightly so! — and result in a lot of clicks for those articles. Surprisingly, despite it being a perennially hot topic on The Compass, none of our identity theft blogs made the list this year.
The longer we continue this annual review of the top 10 articles, the more we’ll learn about ourselves about our interests and curiosities. It’ll be fascinating to follow. Still, whatever life throws at us in the coming years (and who had “global pandemic” on their 2020 bingo card?) you can count on Spokeo and the team here at the blog to keep you informed, and to empower you to live confidently in an always-online world.