ONLINE IDENTITY THEFT | THE DARK SIDE OF THE INTERNET

29 August 2015


Like most other people nowadays, I love using social media and find myself scrolling through Facebook, Twitter and Instagram several times a day.  I love finding out what my friends and family have been up to, some of whom live overseas, admiring my friends' holiday snaps and seeing pictures of my younger cousins as they grow up.  However, as most people are aware, social media is not all positive and there can be a very dark side to it.  My Voucher Codes recently conducted some research on the risks of sharing your life on social media, and some of the findings are rather scary.

According to the research, 23% of social media users surveyed found out their photos had been used by other people without their permission.  That's almost 1 out of every 4 people!

Lots of bloggers and people who use social media (and who doesn't nowadays?) put various aspects of their lives out on the internet.  However, most people only focus on the positive side of this, such as it being a way of keeping in contact with long-distance relatives, whilst the negative side tends to be ignored.  

The research also found that social media channels such as Facebook may not always be helpful when things go wrong.  Amy Yau found out that a fake account that went by the name of 'Jennifer Chen' was set up on Facebook and was using Amy's personal photos.  These photos had been set to 'private', allowing only her Facebook friends to see them, however they still got stolen.  When Amy contacted Facebook regarding the incident, they refused to take the fake profile down as they were "not violating the terms of service or the privacy conditions".  It was only when the media got to know of the story that Facebook finally took the fake profile down.

The internet can be a great place, however it must always be used with caution!  It is important to be cautious with what you put online, including personal pictures and details about yourself, and if you're a blogger being contacted by a company, research the company before giving away your personal details.

You can find out more about this research here.

What precautions do you take to make sure you're safe on the internet?


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