It was reported a few years ago that a Twitter post by Bank of America’s CEO Ken Lewis was asking for recommendations of a good prostitute in Salt Lake City. The only problem? It was a fake Ken Lewis Twitter account set up by someone trying to damage his reputation. Anyone can be hurt by this “social media identity theft” – especially if you’re a non-profit, ministry, or church leader.
There are so many fake Twitter accounts it’s hard to keep track, and they can really damage perceptions of those followers who mistakenly think it’s real. Most social media sites have no real confirmation process and you can choose any name you want. So first – look out for anyone who might be impersonating you on Twitter or other social media sites. Next, follow these steps:
- Visit NameChk to see if your desired username is still available at dozens of social networking and bookmarking sites.
- If your name or preferred username is available, choose a handful of sites and register it before it’s too late. It becomes unwieldy to manage too many sites and services.
- Actively participate in whatever services you choose so the public can identify what’s legitimately from you.
- Understand that it’s not ego mania to Google your name on a regular basis. You need to find out if you have critics, or if anyone is trying to impersonate you or disseminate wrong information.
Any other suggestions on how we can protect on online identities?