DMS Facets

Relating several topics, including IT, Microsoft Access, sports administration, and micro-ISV business.

Identity Theft

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I got an email yesterday from a guy who runs an internet security business, saying “I would not recommend Facebook to any customer, friend or family for reasons of identity protection.”

Does he have a valid point? I confess I don’t keep up with the play on many current affairs issues. Deliberately, in fact, because there seems to be so much scare-mongering as the basis of “news”.

However, I am a regular (though fairly new) Facebook user, and it would appear that if Facebook participation is a threat to identity, then many people, including me, apparently have no desire to protect our identities.

But for those to whom it is a concern, it is of course possible to have a Facebook account with absolutely no personal information (or none that is visible to other users), and membership of a Group, for example, being the only connection. In such a case, you would be pretty much invisible unless you decided to participate in any discussion in the forum for that group, and even then, it is only other members who would see it.

But anyway, I reached for Bing and did a bit of reading about identity theft.

I found this definition: “When someone uses your name, address, bank or credit card account number, or other identifying information without your knowledge to commit fraud or other crimes.”

On another site: “Criminals can find out your personal details and use them to open bank accounts and get credit cards, loans, benefits, and documents such as passports and driving licences in your name.”

Well, in a nutshell, my mind is at rest. All of the information I share on Facebook and other internet locations is stuff that is readily available elsewhere. I don’t know how things go in other countries, but I can’t imagine it is much different from here. You can’t get a passport or driving licence or whatnot, simply on the basis of supplying a name and address and date of birth. Sheesh, these days the banks won’t even give you a cash advance on your credit card without separate photo ID, which of course is totally bizarre because they just have to check the signature.

So there you go. Storm in a teacup.

I actually think it is a very sad thing that we see so often that the authors and commenters in blogs and forums are using false names, and I have sometimes tried to encourage them to use their correct names. Maybe I’m old-fashioned, but there’s something rotten about communicating with someone who lies about who they are.

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One Comment

  1. Garry Robinson

    Easy trick, on facebook put the wrong date of birth on your public page. That way the thief would get caught out. This is better than nothing

    Reply

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