ReadWriteWeb reports that security firm Aladdin released their Annual Threat Report today, one of the biggest online identity theft threats of 2009 will be fake social media profiles. I don’t expect that to surprise any of Marketing Pilgrim’s readers, I do, however, expect it to come as a surprise to most of our clients and the less “Web savvy.”
Evil people are heading out to popular social media sites and setting up fake profiles and abusing those profiles. They are pretending to be someone in order to create valuable connections, and in some cases, to hurt online reputations. Director of Aladdin’s Attack Intelligence Research Center, Ian Amit, says this type of identity theft can be “devastating, both on the personal level by creating difficulties in employment, ruining social and professional connections, damaging reputations; as well as on a financial level, such as stealing customers, corporate data.”
As you may recall, we reported on a horrible case in which a mother had created a fake social profile and bullied a girl to suicide. This report has a lot of merit, and this is a real threat that more businesses need to take seriously.
You need to ensure that you’ve secured social media profiles, and are constantly monitoring your online reputation. There are plenty of tools out there that can help like Andy’s social media monitoring tool, Trackur.
I expect this won’t be the last we hear about this, as there is always someone who isn’t listening out there.