Social Media Identity Theft

Before you hit accept to some random person who has sent you a ‘friend’ request on Facebook or another social platform, we suggest you do your homework. Farcing, other known as social media identity theft, is on the rise. We dive into what farcing is, how to prevent these problems from happening and look at the options you have if you become a victim.

What is farcing?

You may not be familiar with this term, but ‘farcing’ is a term for social media identity theft. It generally happens when a hacker or criminal is accepted as a friend on your social site and has access to your social platform. This is where personal information is obtained for them to pose as you, online or offline.

 

How to prevent social media identify theft

The best advice we can give you is to make sure you adjust the privacy settings on your social platforms to ensure stronger protection. Although there are privacy default settings already in place, they aren’t always the most effective. Secondly, we suggest you practice some common sense when divulging your personal information, clicking on unknown websites and friending strangers. Ensure that your home town and address, employment history, contact numbers, email address and ID number are not displayed or used when signing up for a certain social media.

 

Change your password once a month. Keep criminals and hackers guessing when it comes to accessing your account. We understand that it can be tough remembering one password, so to help keep track, jot down your passwords in a log book.

 

What to do when you’ve been hacked

When you realise your account has been hacked, make sure you take these steps immediately and ensure you have completed each one before leaving the social platform.

The very first step to take when your identity and platform has been compromised is to report the person and the problem to that social site.  There are normally facilities on each social platform that allow you to do this. Make sure you are very specific with regard to what has happened.

Once you have reported the person and the problem to the social platform, immediately block or delete the person off your social platform.

Before your friends or followers are approached with the same scam, make sure you alert them of what has happened to you. Make a public statement, so that the notice feeds in their timelines and news feeds. Give any information of how you got caught and who the person posed as, to help your friends not make the same mistakes.

Delete your very personal information immediately and change your password. These are the final steps you can take to try deter the situation from becoming worse.

 

Creating a social platform for you to connect with friends, family and colleagues is great, it’s when strangers start to feed through these platforms, which they will, that it becomes complicated. The main protection against becoming a ‘farcing’ victim, is to practice common sense and have as little personal information on your social platform as possible.

 

Sources:

http://www.buffalo.edu/news/releases/2014/07/047.html

http://www.consumeraffairs.com/news/farcing-overtaking-phishing-as-online-identity-theft-threat-080614.html

http://www.idtheftcenter.org/Fact-Sheets/fs-138.html

 

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