Online Identity Theft on MySpace and other social networking sites
12, August, 2007 5 Comments
We all know how easy it is to disguise yourself online. I mean, who really knows that it’s YOU? You can lie about your age, gender, occupation, nationality and so on…no one would really know.
Now, what’s complicated matters further is identity theft. We have heard about how hackers can access your personal data such as bank account numbers, and other personal details. With so many people going online, and socialising online, especially with the proliferation of social networking sites, it’s become easier for people to steal identities online, and Internet identity theft is a “a new brand of stalking, harassment and defamation”, according to a recent article in the Starits Times.
Recently, an Australian woman had a MySpace account and profile created of her, which she didn’t know about until she started receiving strange emails and calls from people who had seen her ‘profile’. In the US, a woman was charged with hacking into the MySpace account of American Idol star, Diana DeGarmo’s MySpace page and responding to emails in her name.
The thing is it’s hard to determine which are real accounts and which are not, and with social networking sites getting more and more popular, this will be an issue online users will need to watch out for and deal with.
Another online fake who was recently busted is Daniel Lyons, a technology writer at Forbes, who for 14 months, assumed the identity of Apple’s CEO, Steve Jobs in a blog, the Secret Diary of Steve Jobs. Posting anonymously, “Fake Steve” Daniel Lyons lampooned the real Steve in the blog, and the blog has developed its own cult following. Lyons has even landed a deal to write a book as “Fake Steve”. I don’t think the real Steve will be too thrilled about this.