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How-To Prevent Social Media Identity Theft

June 15, 2009

Social Media Identity Theft

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:

  1. 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.
  2. Set up a free Google Alerts for your name and get an email every time your name pops up online.
  3. 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.
  4. 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.
  5. 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.
  6. 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.
  7. 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.
  8. 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.

Sadie

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11 Comments leave one →
  1. June 15, 2009 5:14 pm

    Great post. In these era of globalization and hi-tech information, everything is possible and you can never be prepared enough. Yesterday we used email, today twitter, what’s next. Our info’s everywhere on the internet and somehow we still need to protect our identities. These tips should be followed like commandments.

  2. June 19, 2009 6:59 am

    Thanks for article. It is very good read.
    I really like to browse iamsocialicious.wordpress.com.

  3. August 9, 2009 9:15 pm

    This is laughable. Your solution to preventing the miss use of your personal identity is to put your personal information out there on even more sites, this is a HUGE fail!.

    Sites like Facebook, LinkedIn (two big offenders) that REQUIRE actual information before you can create an account, yet can not offer guarantees of protection of your personal information are the problem.

    Personal information should NEVER be REQUIRED, ONLY volunteered. Only after a contact has earned my trust should they get any personal information and it should be my decision what to give and when.

    These sites should default to a “less info is more model” and allow users to determine what should be added and when. It MUST always be the users CHOICE to add more personal information, never REQUIRED to use.

    The sites MUST guarantee protection, which they CAN NOT with 100% certainty.

    When a site can guarantee, with 100% certainty that they can protect my data, they will not have a problem with guaranteeing payment to me in the millions of dollars in fines for even one misuse of my personal information entrusted to them.

    I will not hold my breath for such an honest and trust earning initiative.

    And if you do not believe that such reciprocal agreements exist, they most certainly do for businesses paying large amounts for service. Many businesses required such agreements from other businesses, but they will NOT extend the agreements down to consumers.

    • iamsocialicious permalink*
      August 11, 2009 10:40 am

      First of all I’d like to say thanks for your comment and for spending time on my blog :)

      The point of registering your details on these social platforms is in order to secure your desired username / personal details before another can register it first and use it for the wrong reasons, this way, if someone does misuse your identity online, i.e. as a clone, you can contact the site’s admin and get the impersonator chucked off the site.

      Site’s like Twitter now offer a solution so you can verify your account, this is used by many celebrities and big corporations. Although in today’s lifetime not all secure site’s are full-proof, which is why I decided to write this post in the first place. These are tools that you can use to manage and protect your online identity.

      I hope that you will continue reading my blog, please feel free to subscribe via RSS.

  4. February 25, 2010 10:07 pm

    my husband and I had been victim of a lady trying to be and tried to take him away from me faking she is hes wife using my name, age.
    Forcing him to make restrining orders only because she dont want to let us talk, look, each other at church.

    I want to see if you have a law that prohibited to do what she is doing.
    please write me
    220 country club indianapolis In 46234

    • iamsocialicious permalink*
      March 2, 2010 11:15 am

      Hi Michelle..thanks for the question, I have sent you an email, with the details..good luck ^^,

  5. September 4, 2011 10:19 pm

    Thank you…I remember always..I will bookmark this site…

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  1. How-To Prevent Social Media Identity Theft « Social-icious | Your New WordPress MU Site
  2. Shop Long Distance » How-To Prevent Social Media Identity Theft « Social-icious
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  4. How-To Prevent Social Media Identity Theft « Social-icious « Internet marketing tools

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