Social media is buzzing with new features and advancements that help businesses expand their reach, but there is also the possibility of identity fraud on social media. The manner that privacy is misused in society has evolved due to cyberbullying, phony employment frauds, trolling, and copy that targets social media users' personal information and financial accounts. As a result, social media platforms are increasingly required to include identity verification features into their platforms.
What is Identity Fraud on Social Media Platforms?When criminals utilize social media platforms like Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, Snapchat, and others to steal your personally identifiable information (PII) or con you into giving up access to your accounts, this is known as identity fraud on social media.
Scammers can take control of your accounts, pose as you on social media, conduct phishing attacks on your followers, or even access your financial statements if they have enough of your PII.
How Common Is Identity Fraud on Social Media?
In general, those who use social media regularly have a 30% greater likelihood of falling victim to fraud than those who don't. However, Facebook, Snapchat, and Instagram users are at a 46 percent higher risk of fraud and account takeover.
Social media users are more likely to lose money due to scams, even if it's still more frequent to be conned via email, phone, or text messaging.
What Makes Social Media Vulnerable to Fraud?
Authentic identities must be used to open a personal or corporate account on well-known social networking sites like Facebook and LinkedIn. Identity verification is a crucial safeguard against fraud since these platforms allow users to communicate and conduct business with strangers and acquaintances. There was a petition in the UK calling for users' identities to be confirmed before creating social media accounts.
Similar to this, a measure to outlaw anonymous social media accounts was being debated in the French Senate. The considerations for social media ID requirements in Australia and these two European nations demonstrate how serious the issue of identity fraud on social media has grown.
Ways To Prevent Social Media Identity Fraud
There are some ways you can avoid identity fraud on social media:
- First, keep your personal information private.
According to a study of media habits, 68 percent of users with public social media profiles disclosed their birthday, with 45 percent also announcing their entire birthdate. Other information given by users included their high school name, their phone number, and the name of their pet.
It is usually better to leave out personal information than to post it on social media. You are not required to include your present city just because the option is available. If you must provide information, do so in a generic manner.
- Don’t tag or post your specific location.
Although the location tag is a nice feature, not everyone must always know your position. If your profile is public, it puts you and your house in a vulnerable position. Sharing on social media that you're visiting Disneyland with your sister is amusing. Still, it also puts your home weak to burglaries because everyone will know you're more than 100 miles away.
- Use strong passwords.
Make sure your passwords are vital because they are one of the keys to your identity. The most secure passwords are made up of a combination of letters, numbers, and punctuation in a random, nonsequential manner. Unfortunately, when trying to get into your accounts, hackers will use whole words, anything linked to your birthday, and your current and former addresses as their first guesses, so stay away from using these.
- Choose security questions that scammers won't find on your profile.
According to experts, a good security query should be:
- Confidential: The answer should only be known by you. Nobody should be able to figure it out by looking through your social media posts.
- Memorable: You can recall either the truth or the lie with ease. For example, you can choose the question 'What is your astrological sign?’, but instead of the honest answer (rather than an actual astrological sign), use a code or password that only you know. The better, the more random.
- Consistent: Answers to questions that often vary, like your favorite TV show, should be avoided. Use a name like the first video game you won, for example.
- Simple: It's simple to remember but difficult to predict a personal or elusive fact, like your sibling's least favorite sweet.
- Open to various responses: Pick a trick that would need more than three unsuccessful tries for a con artist to figure out. For instance, there are only 12 astrological signs, so hackers could quickly go through this small list if they already had your date of birth.
How Can Social Media be Fraud-Free?
Adopting an AI-driven identity verification solution is the only way social media platforms can guarantee a digital environment free from fraud. Businesses can evaluate and stop suspicious and harmful activity on social media platforms thanks to AI and its powerful machine learning algorithms. Among these are the more prevalent issues like fraudulent accounts and the theft of account information via social media markets.
Tech behemoths and well-known social media platforms are continuously working to create best practices to strike a balance between ease and security. These include tools that enable companies to advertise their goods, track company development, and enhance the quality of their products depending on consumer feedback. These procedures all aim to prevent identity fraud on social media and abusive behavior that stems from the anonymity provided by social media sites. Understanding consumer needs is crucial for service providers to ensure that users' account information is secure when shared on social networking platforms.