Social Media Identity Theft, Are you at risk?
I’ve been a member of Facebook since 2009 and Twitter since 2010. For that duration of my membership, I had also encounter identity theft on facebook. Someone, whom I didn’t really know (and until now I didn’t know who is the person behind that account) steal my personal informations and even my pictures on social media. She created an account on facebook, used my name and used my pictures. Then added my friends and even added me on facebook.
I panicked upon knowing that another person on social media was pretending to be me. I sent messages to that account and asked to take it down but I receive no response at all. Then I noticed that she continued to add people on facebook. So I decided to post a message on the wall so that her friends will know that it was a fake account. I even sent messages to all her friends (on her/his friends list) so that they are aware that it is not me and if ever that person will post negative on social media I won’t be liable for it.
I also ask my friends for help. We reported the account for pretending to be me. After three days, the said account was taken down from facebook. Since then, I made my account private. I don’t accept friend requests from people whom I don’t personally know (even those I have a lot of mutual friends). I had also unfriend those people in my friends list that I don’t know. And lastly I change my name on facebook. It’s been three years now since I am not using my real name on facebook. My name is displayed in Hangul which is actually my nickname (not my first name or my last name). My pictures are all private and my timeline is private. I never allow facebook to link my name on search engines.
From that experience, whenever I encountered people on social media that post negative comments on an issue (or something that will make them hate by netizens), I never believe that it’s a legit account. I just don’t like to judge them because it happened to me – social media identity theft.
Social media identity theft is a growing problem not just in facebook and twitter but also in other social media sites. Internet users (those who are member of social medias) panic whenever they discover that another person is pretending to be them on the sites. They were afraid that this account will post something negative (and that users will attack that account) but they were not actually that person and it is just using their names and pictures.
Normally, some people think that identity theft on social medias happens only to celebrities or well-known people but actually even if you are not popular it can happen to you and you might be the next victim. We don’t know the real reason why other users fake account on social media (and even used other people’s information and pictures). It can be that they have a grudge against you or another reason.
After all, you should know that it is not safe to include your personal informations on social media sites. And if you will become a victim of this identity theft, then you must also know what to do.
1. When you join social media sites, never publicly post personal informations on your account (e.g. birthday, address, phone number, credit cards and etc). You can always make your account private by editing your profile (you can choose whether it is visible to your friends or it is just visible to you especially on facebook).
2. You can always make your identity anonymous either you change your name and hide personal informations. When you join facebook, you fill up a form and it’s your choice whether to use your real name or use you nickname. There are many users on social media sites who are not actually using their real names.
If you are currently using your real name and want to change it, you can do it anytime. You just have to log in to your account and edit your profile. Take not that some of social media sites only allow you to change your name once in every three months depending on how many times that you have changed it.
3. Never add or accept people’s friend request if you don’t know them personally. Likers on your pictures and statuses are not the important thing on social media sites. Remember that you join this sites not because of how many people will like your status or pictures but because you want to communicate with your family, friends and teachers.
4. Choose a unique password for you social media accounts. Never use 12345 as your passwords in your accounts rather choose the password that is unique and no one can guess on it.
5. You should know how to control the informations you provide online. Never allow the site to make your personal information available to third-party application developers or marketing agencies.
6. If you want to be active on social media sites, make sure to provide a little personal information as much as you can.
7. Never click shared websites that you are not familiar with. This is one of the reasons why some users account are suspended because of clicking links posted on social media sites. Some of this links are not safe and can steal your personal informations.
1. Click on the account of the person who impersonates you on facebook. Then click report.
2. Click report this account.
3. Click this time is pretending to me or someone I know.
4. Click me.
5. Submit report to facebook or block this account.
After reporting to facebook an account that is pretending to be you, so can block this account so he/she won’t see you profile and vice versa. After all, the only thing that you can do in social media is to avoid on posting your personal informations or photos.
If you want to report a post, you can follow these instructions:
- Click in the top right of the post you want to report and select I don't want to see this
- Click Why don't you want to see this?
- Choose the option that best describes the issue and follow the on-screen instructions
By reporting unwanted posts on social medias you are helping to remove spams.
You can also report a photo or video on facebook by following these steps below:
- Click on the photo or video to expand it
- Click Options in the bottom right
- Click Report Photo for photos or Report Video for videos
If you're having trouble reporting something, please log in from a computer and use the report links.
1.Social spam is an unwanted spam content appearing on social networks and any website with user-generated content (comments, chat, etc.). It can be manifested in many ways, including bulk messages, profanity, insults, hate speech, malicious links, fraudulent reviews, fake friends, and personally identifiable information.
2. Scam is a scheme for making money by deceptive, dishonest, or fraudulent means, i.e., a swindle or fraud. This is very common in social media sites especially to users who engaged in buying and selling products online.
3. Identity Theft is the fraudulent acquisition and use of a person's private identifying information, usually for financial gain. Some users of social media sites reported that their personal informations were stolen and use to destroy their own name. That is why we should be aware that even if the site’s owner says that it is “safe” we must be aware that some users were not in the site to enjoy but to steal personal informations.