How-To Prevent Social Media Identity Theft
Today, many companies embark on social media campaigns as a sure-fire way to generate large amounts of traffic quite quickly, even website owners use these platforms to promote their content etc. There are a number of power-players in the social media universe and they depend heavily on thier online identity to successfully promote online.
But what happens when your online identity is stolen and used to promote content you otherwise would not? Social Media identity theft is one of the worst strategies out there, equivalent to Black Hat SEO, its a form of cybersquatting using social media sites. Your stolen account may be used to extort money out of contacts, create new accounts or to hinder a competitor’s social campaign.
So how do you prevent this type of Identity Theft?
Robert Siciliano is an Identity Theft Expert and has listed these tips on how to prevent Social Media Identity Theft:
- Register your full name and those of your spouse and kids on the most trafficked social media sites, blogs, domains or web based email accounts. If your name is already gone, include your middle initial, a period or a hyphen. It’s up to you to decide whether or not to plug in your picture and basic bio, but consider leaving out your age or birthday.
- Set up a free Google Alerts for your name and get an email every time your name pops up online.
- Set up a free StepRep account for your name. StepRep is an online reputation manager that does a better job than Google Alerts does of fetching your name on the web.
- Consider dropping $65 on Knowem.com. This is an online portal that goes out and registers your name at what they consider the top 120 social media sites. Their top 120 is debatable, but a great start. The user experience with Knowem is relatively painless. There is still labor involved in setting things up and with some of the 120. And no matter what you do, you will still find it difficult to complete the registration with all 120 sites. Some of the social media sites just aren’t agreeable. This can save you lots of time, but is only one part of solving the social media identity theft problem.
- Start doing things online to boost your online reputation. Blogging is best. You want Google to bring your given name to the top of search in its best light, so when anyone is searching for you they see good things. This is a combination of online reputation management and search engine optimization for your brand: YOU.
- If you ever stumble upon someone using your likeness in the social media, be very persistent in contacting the site’s administrators. They too have reputations to manage and if they see someone using your photo or likeness they would be smart to delete the stolen profile.
- Or do nothing and don’t worry about it. But when some other John Doe does something stupid or uses your name in a disparaging way or for identity theft, and people assume that it’s you, remember that I told you so.
- Despite all the work you may do to protect yourself, you still need identity theft protection and Internet security software.
By following these steps you should be able to prevent identity theft in the future.