Social Media: Ways to Cope with Fake Identities

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Social media allows people to anonymously keep in touch with different communities and protect their identities. It offers much more than just connecting people. Currently, it’s being widely used to market brands and products. The businesses are generating more revenue using social media marketing accounts. Facebook, LinkedIn, Twitter, etc. are vast platforms that provide job opportunities, spread words about a product launch.

 

A large number of companies are under high pressure of being accountable by the people on social media. It has a disadvantage. The news about a let-down product gets viral and spread like wildfire.

 

Such news spread is, on the one hand, a piece of information for the people but what if it’s a paid troll by some competitor? Such fake news, if, gets viral, becomes a serious threat to the entire platform of social media and indirectly affects society.

 

Social media being a valued place is enforced to introduce soundness and make the platform pure from illegal activities. The anonymity of the identities roaming on social media platforms is the source of proliferation of online scams, trolls, and bunches of fake news. The fake accounts on Facebook and other platforms are threatening and harassing millions of people across the world through the social web.

 

Scammers use puppet accounts for the sole purpose of posting junk ads, links, videos, and images to manipulate the thinking of people and misinforming them regarding a certain product, celebrity, restaurant, etc. These never-ending barrages of fake accounts and groups distracting people are overwhelming.

 

Changing the Trend – Authenticate the Social Media Users

 

Social media platforms are not only the source of spreading misinformation but also many of the cyberattacks happen by injecting malware into the user’s system to commit fraud. Also, attackers execute malicious programs to fool the system and hack it.

Each day, thousands of social media accounts are reported and banned by group owners and moderators. In just one community an average of 35,000 accounts are reported in a year and 50,000 posts are flagged for review to check if they are spam. It is difficult to determine the authenticity of the accounts. It a headache for admins to review and approve or reject those posts.

 

There are a number of U.S. federal laws for spammers, but it is of no utility when you have no idea about a person involved in illegal activity on social media platforms. It is hard to hunt that person who is anonymous in his identity.

 

Fraud Prevention on Social Media Platforms

 

There is a need for worrying less about fake news and misdeeds on social media platforms and focus more on ‘who exactly’ is posting such stuff in the first place. It is time to identify and verify the identity of people on social media. Implementation of the citizen online identity verification system should be made possible that ensures only trusted identities be part of social media networks.  This will reduce the online scams, junk posts and ads, and phishing attacks.

 

The financial institutions, banking industry, online stores, etc. have integrated their systems with online identity verification systems that authenticate the online customers based on their personal information, address and amount of data that is required to verify the identity entirely. Such online platforms are less prone to online scams and fraud. These frauds do happen, but they are much less than the platforms without any verification system.

 

Social media platforms can prevent bad actors from spamming and spreading fake news on the internet by verifying each identity registering its account. Twitter has now implemented new ways through which they verify their users and see if they are real identities or not. The accounts which have not verified their phone numbers are verified. It can be done through 2-factor authentication, in which an automated code is sent to the mobile number of the user by the system which is verified once the user enters it into the system.

 

THIS step of online user verification will lessen threatening and harassment activities. Not only social media, but every online market is in need of online identity verification. We cannot say that the entire social media would be free from scams and frauds, but it can be reduced and at least this can hold people accountable for posting spam through social networking. There would be adequate proof of scammers to catch them.  Identity verification can play a crucial role in securing social media.

 

Author:

James Efron is a tech enthusiast, currently serving as infosecurity management expert at Shufti Pro ( https://shuftipro.com/author/james_efron/ ). He has been involved in designing organisational strategies for tech firms, and is often found assisting digital transformations.

 

Social Media Links: 
https://twitter.com/JamesEfron7
https://www.linkedin.com/in/jjames-efron-uk/

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