Identity theft and impersonation increases in social networks

LinkedIn by 10%, Twitter 6.3% & Facebook 5.7%

Increased activity in online identity theft and impersonation in social networks was highlighted again in this article Why ID Thieves Love Social Media in the Wall Street Journal at the weekend.

Research conducted by Javelin Strategy & Research found ID theft was up by 13% with 12 million Americans affected in 2011. The increase is due to a combination of growing use of social-media websites and smartphones, as well as security breaches.

The information we share on our social networks, such as our date of birth and location, is also making us vulnerable to fraudsters. Most surprisingly LinkedIn had the highest identity-fraud incident rate at 10%. 7% of Google+ users, 6.3% Twitter users and 5.7% of Facebook users said they were victims.

Online identity is something that is very close to our hearts at miiCard and an issue we are tackling in a new way. Just to add more validation to the pot - we have seen a marked increase from the social areas in comparison to other areas that we support (Financial Services, gambling, online dating, etc).

As an industry these are issues we need to address and, as noted in the Javelin research, we can't keep exposing more and more of our personal data without increasing the means of control. It will be interesting to see what happens over the next 6 to 12 months.

Further reading:

Take a look at our blog for some Security tips for your Smartphone.

We've publsihed a series of tips for protecting your identity online here.

Social Networking, Identity Protection
  • "Giving people the power to control their digital identities, at a time when trust and security online is paramount, is very exciting."  

    Cassie Anderson, Marketing VP