18 December 2014

44975

Retired Member

707Posts 2,218,646Views 866Comments

Online Banking

This community is for discussion of developments in the e-banking world, including mobile banking. This can include all the functional, business, technical, marketing, web site design, security and other related topics of Internet Banking segment, including public websites of the banks and financial institutions across the globe.

Can social media lead to identity fraud?

24 October 2011  |  6084 views  |  0

There are, apparently, over 500 million Facebook users worldwide and 26 million in the UK, which is a staggering proportion of the global and UK population.

Social networks are by their very nature all about sharing; sharing experiences, our latest news, likes and dislikes and sometimes our personal information.

Whilst we all like to share – and we very much do – there are risks associated with allowing ‘everyone’ and ‘everyone’ open access to our personal information, which by its very definition, can be sensitive and, in fact, highly valuable.

Personal information is often used to verify our identities with a range of organisations including banks, credit card companies, utility providers and online providers of goods and services.

So, if this is the case, why do a third of Facebook users have two pieces of personal information, such as their date of birth or mother’s maiden name, on their public profiles? Worst still 27% of Facebook profiles contained three pieces of personal information. From our recent research only 1% of public Facebook profiles contained no personal information. Specifically 15% of users allow everyone access to their date of birth.

The situation is made worse by the fact that we all like to be popular. Amazingly a third of Facebook users – that’s over eight million people in the UK – accept friend invitations from people they have never met before. Amongst younger users the figure is even more alarming; with half of 18 – 24 year olds accepting friend requests from people they don’t know. This may explain why they have, on average, more than 260 friends. When we asked ‘why’, users were happy to accept requests if the person was good looking or appeared popular.

When we delved deeper and asked users if they trust all their friends, the results were worrying. Only 36% of Facebook users trust all their friends, and 81% of 18 – 24 year olds said they didn’t.

So, if this is the case, why do we freely share our personal information on social networking sites?

Is it simply because social networking sites exist to facilitate the open exchange of information? And are we blindly ignoring any consequences of sharing our personal information?

The situation is complicated by the fact that 6% of social media users claim to have been a victim of identity fraud from someone accessing their details from one of their online accounts.

You may think the motivation to share is down to a lack of awareness and understanding – unfortunately it isn’t. Half of those questioned (49%) said they were aware that it is possible to use personal information accessible on Facebook or other social networking sites in order to facilitate identity fraud.

The problem is, and here is the main concern. Most of us use personal information – available on our Facebook profiles, and as we have previously qualified, to often complete strangers who we don’t trust – to verify our identities or access our online accounts.

Because social media is here to stay and is only going to become more popular, we need to carefully consider the rules around personal verification. If we are going to be asked our date of birth, mother’s maiden name and place of birth, then either don’t publicise it online or change the verification questions.

Some simple rules include using a unique password for every website, don’t post personal information on Facebook i.e. your date and place of birth, and regularly review your privacy setting so they meet your expectations and only your ‘real’ friends can access your profile page.

And perhaps we all need to go through a ‘de-friending’ exercise to remove those good looking and popular ‘friends’.

TagsSecurityRisk & regulation

Comments: (0)

Comment on this story (membership required)
Log in to receive notifications when someone posts a comment

Latest posts from Retired

Do you KYC well!

23 July 2014  |  1178 views  |  0  |  Recommends 0 TagsSecurityPayments

My thoughts on Digital and Branchless banking

21 July 2014  |  1908 views  |  0  |  Recommends 0 TagsMobile & onlinePayments

War of the Plastic cards with Mobile wallets

21 July 2014  |  1973 views  |  2  |  Recommends 0 TagsMobile & onlinePayments

7-day account switch: customer empowerment or indifference

18 June 2014  |  1928 views  |  1  |  Recommends 0 TagsRisk & regulationRetail banking

On Reinventing Money.

03 June 2014  |  1297 views  |  0  |  Recommends 0 TagsPaymentsInnovation

Retired's profile

job title
location
member since 2014
Summary profile See full profile »

Retired's expertise

What Retired reads
Retired writes about

Who is commenting on Retired's posts

Rasvan Stanescu
Andrei Charniauski
Sian Bentley
Tony Wenzel
Jorge Yui
Ketharaman Swaminathan
Mark Pavan
Matt Scott
Geoffrey Barraclough
Thad Peterson
Marinka Ryan
Alexander Peschkoff