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There are two types of  “online” identity thieves, one is corporate and the other is personal.


This type is also known as cybersquatting, or the act of  registering, selling or using a domain name with the intent of profiting from the goodwill of someone else’s trademark. It generally refers to the practice of buying up domain names that use the names of existing businesses with the intent to sell the names for a profit to those businesses. But with the proliferation of social web, this practice now applies also to Linkedin Companies, Facebook Fan pages and Twitter account. This is is the reason why corporations has to be adept on social web advancement, otherwise, they will fall to this trap. Please take note that a situation may appear as cybersquatting but the problem originates from trademark disputes, thus, will not fall on cybersquatting.


I heard several horror stories of high profile individuals falling prey to thieves. One documented case if this report from GMA7news.tv wherein a program director and news anchor is a victim. The perpetuator allegedly built a Facebook account in his name, connected to his real friends and colleagues, then after a while solicited sexual favors and money.

Other variations of this act is to obtain access to your email address, facebook or twitter account, steal your sss, credit card or bank account numbers and corresponding password thru cracking [bad hacking] phishing and social engineering.

Motive and Purpose

There are several reason why thieves do this, allow me to share what is common.

  1. Fun –  hackers just want to have fun to prove they are superior.
  2. Envy – probably you are more successful than the perpetuator, thus, to see you suffer or if they can prevent you from further moving ahead satisfies them.
  3. Hate – maybe at one point, you did something to this person [direct, indirect, intentional or not, work related or personal] and they wanted to get even. This is a little dangerous because the intent of the perpetuator is to humiliate and destroy you.
  4. Money – can stand alone as motive or in combination of the 1st three above. perpetuators will steal your online identity to earn, and earn BIG TIME.

How to take precautionary measure

  1. Understand Social Web – some criminals are tech savvy. And to protect ourselves, we should at least be social web literate.
  2. Establish your online identity – to assume that absence of online identify is equals to safety, is wrong. The easier your identity can be stolen.
    • As a corporation
      • purchase a domain for  your trademark
      • open an official company account on key social networking sites, foremost are
      • Integrate and synergize all your accounts
    • As an individual
      • Figure out what you want with your life [your brand] then associate it with your name
      • Open an account in free blogging sites, if you have the means, purchase your own domain. The free account or domain should be in your name
      • Open an account in key social networking sites
        • Facebook
        • LinkedIn
        • Twitter
        • About.me
        • Multiply [if you would like to have an online store]
      • Integrate and synergize all your accounts
  3. my about.me profile

  4. Protect your password at all times – you can do this by changing it regularly and by making sure it is difficult enough for perpetuators but not for you.
  5. If you are using a common computer in the office, after your session, delete cookies and history.
  6. In internet cafe’s, before and after your session, delete cookies. After using the PC, log out and  erase browser history.
  7. As much as possible, do not make financial transactions in an unsecured network and environment, i.e. unprotected wi-fi, open network, internet cafe’s
  8. On emails
    • If you received an email allegedly from your bank, credit card provider, paypal, ebay , etc. and asking you to re enter your information, do not click the link.
    • Call your provider or send them email to check it’s veracity
    • Instead of clicking the link, type it manually and see where it takes you but do not enter your username, password or account number
    • Most financial institutions use https not http
    • Report such email to your service provider
    • On the same note, the same rule applies if you received an email from your email provider or Facebook or any social networking account and they are requesting you for your personal info
  9. Rouge applications
    • This is common in Facebook [and maybe in social networking sites]. Be wary if they are requesting access to your personal info, your friends info and to post in your wall

To protect yourself from crackers, head over my article about Cyberhacking and cracking