Identity Fraud Escalates in Smartphones, Social Media



Skyrocketing mobile malware threats amid widespread use of BYOD, bring your own devices, were on track for a $1.88 billion services market in 2013. That’s according to ABI Research.

Cybercriminals are successfully attacking vulnerabilities in individual devices and networks to an ABI report.

“Isolated and standalone security solutions will work for the individual consumer, but for organizational applications and carriers, mobile security services will take the lead,” says Michela Menting, ABI Research’s senior analyst in cyber security.

ID-100279342 tiramisustudioThe epidemic isn’t new.

There’s been another global cybercrime assault on smartphones, according to a government task force, which includes the FBI. The Internet Crime Complaint Center (IC3) waived a big red flag. In particular, it’s a threat to Android users. As a result, IC3 issued security tips for users.

Wait, there’s more.

Identity fraud jumped by 13 percent – claiming 11.6 million American adult victims in 2011, according to a study. The report indicates smartphone and social media users were heavily victimized.

The study shows seven percent of smartphone users were affected. Javelin Strategy & Research (www.javelinstrategy.com), a San Francisco bay area firm, conducted the study.

“Consumers must be vigilant and in control of their personal data as they adopt new mobile and social technologies in order to not make it easier for fraudsters to perpetrate crimes,” said James Van Dyke, president of Javelin.

Here’s an excerpt of Javelin’s four main takeaways:

Identity fraud incidents increased, amount stolen remained steadyThe number of identity fraud incidents increased by 13 percent over the past year, but the dollar amount stolen remained steady.

Social behaviors put consumers at riskSpecifically, 68 percent of people with public social media profiles shared their birthday information (with 45 percent sharing month, date and year); 63 percent shared their high school name; 18 percent shared their phone number; and 12 percent shared their pet’s name – all are prime examples of personal information a company would use to verify your identity.

Smartphone owners experience greater incidence of fraudThe survey found seven percent of smartphone owners were victims of identity fraud. This is a one-third higher incidence rate compared to the general public.

Part of this increase may be attributable to consumer behavior: 32 percent of smartphone owners do not update to a new operating system when it becomes available; 62 percent do not use a password on their home screen—enabling anyone to access their information if the phone is lost; and 32 percent save login information on their device.

Data breaches increasing and more damaging – One likely contributing factor to the fraud increase was the 67 percent increase in the number of Americans impacted by data breaches compared to 2010. Javelin Strategy & Research found victims of data breaches are 9.5 times more likely to be a victim of identity fraud than consumers who did not receive such a data breach letter.

So, hang onto your smartphone — and consider precautions with your smartphone security and social media sharing.

From the Coach’s Corner, here are related resources:

Our Mobile-Banking Warnings about Security Prove Prophetic

Using Starbucks’ WIFI? Security Pro Issues Warning and Security Checklist

5 Safety Measures to Thwart Mounting Social-Network Attacks

Who Profits from Android’s Security Issues? Not Users.

Internet Criminals to Pose Bigger Threat than Terrorists – FBI

New Cyber Attacks: Tips For Internet Security

New Cybercrime Serves as Warning to Take Defensive Precautions

Lesson about Passwords after Theft of 16,000+ UCLA Patient Records

Cyber Security: Is Your Business Prepared with Precautions and Response Philosophy? 

“There’s a lot of weirdos on the Internet.”

-Miss Texas Teen USA (1998 pageant)

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Author Terry Corbell has written innumerable online business-enhancement articles, and is a business-performance consultant and profit professional. Click here to see his management services. For a complimentary chat about your business situation or to schedule him as a speaker, consultant or author, please contact Terry.

Photo courtesy of tiramisustudio at www.freedigitalphotos.net

Seattle business consultant Terry Corbell provides high-performance management services and strategies.