The metaverse might still seem futuristic for many companies, but it’s likely to become an important way of connecting with people and customers in future. Some companies are already conducting business in the metaverse

Whilst you might not be ready to join them, you should already consider how to protect your brand from malevolent actors operating in the metaverse. 

Hyper-real avatars are here

Until now, avatars have been cartoon representations of people. However, Metaphsyic – the company that created the famous Tom Cruise deepfake – are now offering the same service to individuals in the metaverse. 

This might seem like harmless fun, but if used by people with bad intentions, it could have serious repercussions for brands. For example, if someone is able to create a hyper-real avatar of a CEO or influential person, there are very few ways to confirm that person’s true identity. If they start making statements in the metaverse on the company’s behalf, this could have a negative impact on the company, potentially damaging brand image or, worse, tanking the share price. 

We’ve already seen a number of deepfakes of famous people or politicians saying controversial things. For example, a recent deepfake of Elon Musk encouraged people to take part in an illegitimate trading scheme.

How to protect your brand in the metaverse

Even though you might not be working in the metaverse at the moment, it’s still important to keep updated on developments in this space, and monitor how people might be referencing your brand. You should treat it as any other public platform that your brand is present on, and take the same precautions to mitigate reputation crises. 

There is also an option to already create your own hyper-real avatar using a technology like Metaphysic and securely store it as an NFT. Doing this means you can keep ownership of your own image and — importantly — the biometric data used to create it. This makes it harder for cybercriminals to use it to create their own deepfakes.