Statistics show that there are 4.33 billion social media users worldwide. It has become an important part of our lives as it has transformed the methods through which we can communicate and interact with others. No doubt, Social media has made a huge impact on our lives by reducing distance barriers. Bringing people closer by providing them online mediums to connect. However, the transformation towards social media has also led to a rapid increase in scamming threats among users. With the increased rate of active users on social media, more personal data is exposed online. Hackers and malicious activists have found sophisticated ways to use your personal information for their financial benefits and blackmailing purposes. Occasionally, These criminals steal the information of the consumer and use this information for illegal activities
Why Is Data Security Essential?
There are 2.797 billion monthly active users of Facebook. This shows that the data of billions of Facebook users are exposed. To major threats such as data breaches and identity fraud. Other than social media, any platform that uses personal information is at risk of data exposure intentionally or unintentionally. The sensitive data can be later sold on the dark web which is then utilized for identity fraud, false impersonation, and other fraudulent activities such as cash withdrawal or loan application.
Following the major threats faced by social media these days:
Cyberbullying and Harassment
Criminals making use of the vulnerabilities of the social media platform to steal the information of the users. They use this information to blackmail or harass people online. Without the fear of being caught taking the advantage of anonymity. Making fake profiles on social media platforms such as Facebook, Twitter or Instagram is not a big deal. As it just requires your age, name, and email address. Whether the user enters false or authentic information he can create his profile with ease as it requires no verification. Other than strangers, it can also be a known social contact that can exploit our personal information. For creating a fake profile based on that information seeking revenge. This will cause severe damage to the user’s mental health resulting in suicidal thoughts and depression. Statistics show that cyberbullied students are almost twice as likely to commit suicide. It has become a major cause of death among people aged between 10 to 34 years.
Account hacking and false Impersonation
There is a rapid increase in account hacking attempts by cybercriminals and hackers. Due to the presence of billion users on social media platforms. By using advanced technology, anyone can trick the verification methods to gain access to someone’s account easily. Tactics such as social engineering and phishing attacks are frequently used by hackers to gain access and target other users’ profiles. Hackers use this stolen information for false impersonation and carry out any activity they like to. Cybercriminals use social media accounts to spread fraud and malware at a large scale as they are linked to several other accounts. People are falling prey to identity frauds because they believe that they are their friend rather than the stranger.
As a result, cybercriminals extract sensitive information (name, date of birth, location) from the user’s profile. They use this information for opening bank account, loan application, and processing any payment.
Minors are Exposed
With no proper supervision and monitoring of social media accounts, the majority of minors are exposed to cybercriminals. Most of the minors are below the age of 18 because of ineffective age and identity verification checks. Cybercriminals impersonate themselves as legitimate users and exploit the minor’s identity to bully them. Resulting in identity fraud and identity theft.
How Identity Verification Is a Better Solution?
The ease of creating fake and fraudulent profiles on social media platforms has caused a major risk of identity and financial fraud. Cybercriminals are making use of several methods to exploit sensitive information. Of social media users for their personal and monetary gains. On the other side, bad actors are utilizing social media platforms for performing malicious activities such as bullying and harassment.
The lack of supervision and verification during the account creation on social media platforms. This is the significant reason behind these activities. Digital identity verification is a reliable solution for verifying that the user is eligible with appropriate age. And identity verification measures in place. Providing strong defense against harassment and bullying attempts by getting rid of cybercriminals and fraudsters. Ensuring that social media is a better source of entertainment for users.