Identity theft and KYC Compliance are two of the most trending topics in today’s regulatory landscape. Individuals and companies perceive the completion of KYC as a sure way of being protected from Identity theft. However, this is hardly the case in a socially connected and information-driven world. This is in fact, only half the protection, where the other half befalls upon the responsible practices carried out by individuals themselves.
Yes, you’ve heard me correct, most of the identity theft victims are the cases of careless handling of personal information. Which, at the right time and situation is used by fraudsters for personal gain. One of the largest social mediums – Facebook, is the ideal place to find information and people. Let’s look into how this medium becomes the ideal hunting ground and what steps can be taken to mitigate threats surrounding identity theft.
Social Media – An Excuse for Public Sharing of Personal Data
Identity theft is a grave concern for all individuals who hold any form of social or digital identity, which is associated with their real-world identity. Social media often considered a great way to stay connected with friends and reduce distances. Is often a deception, under the very nature of being a hub for sharing information. How much information and what? is crucial to understand here. A place where users are encouraged to share personal information for ‘ideal content’ and ‘better matches’ automatically increases the chances of individuals becoming a victim of identity fraud. As fraudsters establish intuitive schemes to extract this information out of users for their personal benefit.
How Users Can Safeguard Their Personal Information
- Avoid posting and sharing unnecessary personally identifiable information that can be a puzzle to your actual identity. For example, DOB. Do not list your actual DOB in full that can be used to identify you in many different aspects. Also, initialize your Last Name to prevent people from accurately finding you by the name.
- Avoid being active and sharing on specific times of the day for prolonged periods. Even though people anticipate you, fraudsters might use this information to establish pattern activity and use it to carry out an attack at your ‘session of use’.
- Be very careful when using Facebook for buying and selling. Once your credit information is on the site. You don’t’ know what you’re targeted with and where your information ends up being used.
- Be mindful of tagging yourself and friends and that too with locations. This makes fraudsters to know more about your recent whereabouts ‘social radius’ and get closer to you. This includes photos and information within them, for example, mentioning of addresses or ‘Lives In’ fields.
- The more public information you have about yourself, the more likely it is to be used by fraudsters to create a duplicate or fake profile on your name. To carry out reputational and disruptive fraud through identity association.
Users should be mindful of what information they share on social platforms, this can include personal information derived from KYC compliance procedures. That ‘may’ be utilized to perform fraudulent practices and cause reputational harm from social background checks. Responsible and careful handling of personal information should be maintained for one’s own self and fellow loved one’s cybersecurity.