Identity Theft Definition

Identity theft can be defined as a technique used by criminals to impersonate someone’s identity with intention to pursue or commit for crime. The victim will be hold to be responsible for the consequences of fraud or action done the impersonators. Identity theft on the Internet can arise in two similar yet distinct ways which are either creating a fake account or stealing and hacking the password of the victim [1].

Identity Theft Definition
Image credit BBC

According to Facebook in their latest second quarter 2013 operational highlights [2], it is reported that there are around 699 million on average daily active users for June 2012 which recorded to be a 27% year-over-year increase. However, it is also reported that this year, there are more than 76 million fake users claimed by Facebook during their war campaign to fight bogus account [3]. In previous Facebook’s regulatory filing released on 2012, the social media company said that 8.7 percent (83.09 million) of its 955 million monthly active users worldwide are actually duplicate or false accounts [4]. Although we can see that there a slight improvement and difference in the numbers of fake users which declined from 83 million to 76 million over the last six months [3], the numbers is still too huge and could contribute to a serious damage caused by the threat and impact of identity theft in social networking sites such as Facebook.

Despite of rapid and aggressive effort made by social networking sites to secure and protect its users from any form of online impersonation, the solution is still depends on the ethical value and proactive action from the users themselves to fully developed good understanding and self-awareness on the risk of online impersonation in social networking sites.

This post is a partial from the article Ethical Issues in Social Networking.

[1] Reznik, M. (2013). Identity Theft on Social Networking Sites: Developing Issues of Internet Impersonation. Touro L. Rev., 29, 455-485.
[2] Retrieved from
[3] Retrieved from
[4] Retrieved from

Juan is a Design & Tech Blogger with strong interest in digital art, human computer interaction, enterprise system and system automation.

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