According to ID Analytics, a fraud-fighting firm, the top 10-20% of people who shared the most about themselves on social media were four times more likely to experience fraud than those who shared the least information about themselves. TIME magazine’s article, “Social Media Is Making You More Vulnerable to Fraud,” explains the potential danger of experiencing fraud when using social media. In this post, I will summarize the article, develop an argument for or against the point of the article, and explain my argument using other sources.
The article explains the discovered relation between fraud and social media use by citing research and studies done by ID Analytics. As cited in the article, Dr. Stephen Coggeshall, Chief Analytics and Science Officer of ID Analytics, explains the three factors used in predicting the risk of becoming a fraud victim. The factors are: the quantity of social media sites used, the amount of websites that share personal information to the public, and the number of past addresses that can be found. It is noted that the caution of correlation, not causation, applies to the factors. It’s not clearly indicated why the amount of personal addresses increases your chances of becoming a victim to fraud, but it can be theorized that more addresses makes it easier for a criminal to use one unnoticed.
After explaining the factors of relation, the article wraps up by explaining what you can do to protect yourself from fraud. Some examples of the tips that the article gives to protect yourself are: think about what you post, guard your personal information, destroy any documents that may contain sensitive information, place any bills in secure collection boxes at the post office, keep virus and malware protection up-to-date, and create strong passwords. Following these guidelines can lower your chances of experiencing fraud.
After reading the article and various other sources, I came to the conclusion that this is a great example of an effect of new media. Social media is still new and continues to grow as time passes. According the article, “Internet and Social Media Fraud,” found on Investor, social media has become a great tool for not only investors, but fraudulent criminals as well. Fraudsters can use social media to appear valid while using anonymity to reach a large amount of people at a very low cost.
Not only can it be easy for criminals to obtain your information directly from you, it can be very easy for them to obtain it indirectly without your knowledge. An article written by Kent Lewis on EONetwork makes the point that criminals can get a lot of the information they need just by viewing a social media profile. Personal details that make up the profile such as: full names (middle name included), date of birth, hometown, relationship status, educational information, pet names, and other hobbies are commonly used grant access to account information such as passwords. This makes it much easier for hackers and criminals to obtain the information they need to steal their target’s accounts and identity.
With a large amount of benefits, social media does have its costs and risks. According to an article written by Kate Murphy on NY Times, it has become a highly encouraged social norm to share everything about yourself to the internet. People are blindly sharing personal information that could be used against them in the future. Because criminals and hackers feed off of the urge to share so much information over social media, it is a must for the user deeply think about potential consequences of what they post online.
Murphy, Kate. “We Want Privacy, but Can’t Stop Sharing.” New York Times. 4 October, 2014. Web. Accessed 14 October, 2016.
Investor.gov. “Internet and Social Media Fraud.” Investor. Web. Accessed 14 October, 2016.
Lewis, Kent. “How Social Media Networks Facilitate Identity Theft and Fraud.” Entrepreneurs’ Organization. Web. Accessed 14 October, 2016.
Sullivan, Bob. “Social Media Is Making You More Vulnerable to Fraud.” 12 October, 2016. Time Magazine. Web. Accessed 14 October, 2016.