Identity theft on social networks is the order of the day. It is a problem that can manifest itself in the form of harassment, extortion, data theft, etc. 

Based on this, it is important to know what identity theft is and how social media identity verification can be a game changer.

What is identity theft in social platforms?

According to the FBI’s Internet Crime Complaint Center (IC3), identity theft is the act of stealing another person’s identity, their personal information without their knowledge, to commit theft or fraud. 

What do criminals want and how do they get the data?

Cybercriminals seek the personal data of their victims to impersonate them.

What do cybercriminals want who are dedicated to identity theft in social networks doesn’t respond to any type of classification. Their goals can be anything from damaging a particular person’s reputation, accessing their bank details to make charges, receiving medical treatment through someone else’s insurance, obtaining tax refunds, selling information to other criminals, accessing to classified information, etc. Surely the reality of their intentions exceeds fiction.

As for the information they need, these cyber thefts usually collect the data of their victims, taking note of their movements and activities. For example, if the person in question is very active in networks and comments that this morning she has visited X bank, they can give rise to a phishing email “with a sender” from that entity. They can trick the victim into believing that they are someone else to send them money, provide data, help launder money, etc.

How social platforms facilitate identity theft

More and more people use social platforms and more and more research reveals higher numbers of victims of identity theft on these platforms.

Social platforms have more information than it may seem. Facebook publicly displays your date of birth and other information, such as your favorite music groups, LinkedIn shares your CV. Your work, your friends, your hobbies… everything is in your social networks.

Full name, date of birth, location, pet’s name, etc. These are just some of the data that social platforms collect. Added to the these points, the next facts make social platforms an easy target for identity theft:

  1. Users trust big social media providers and accept abusive privacy policies
  2. There is a lot of misinformation about online identity protection, cybersecurity and personal data protection
  3. Social platforms encourage their users to give more and more personal information (in order to direct advertising, personalize more content and keep them longer on the platform, etc.)
  4. Legal regulations are still limited
  5. Social platforms contain tons of sensitive data and, like any website, are susceptible to attacks

Does identity verification make social networks more secure?

Of course, yes. Identity verification can make activity on social platforms more secure. Mainly, because it is used to link specific users to social platforms profiles, with confirmation that this subject is verified. The chances of identity theft are reduced because each individual’s identity is validated as unique. A person can have as many fake email accounts as he wants, but she only has one identity document. In addition, these systems detect false or duplicate identities. 

On the other hand, assigning actions -posts, comments, etc.- to their authors would eliminate the anonymity of users and make it more difficult for cybercriminals to deceive their victims by posing as other users/entities to steal more information about them (that is, it would prevent identity theft on social networks).

Likewise, verifying identity on social networks is a deterrent to fraud. Knowing that there are legal consequences and that the identification of wrongdoers is a reality reduces attacks and cyberbullying. 

And lastly, it also solves the problem of fake accounts, bots, fake followers, etc. since real users are required (and, by the way, older than x age).

If you need help to make your social platform a safer place, we leave you our contact here so you can try our solution for free, we are looking forward to helping you.

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