CHARLOTTE, NC (WBTV) - We have reported before how important it is to lock down your privacy settings. We've also explained how easy it is to type your name into search engines to see what pops up.
However, there is a new security threat targeting you and your life, and you may not ever know about it until it's too late.
WBTV's Cyber expert, Theresa Payton, says this type of impersonation case is much harder to detect. They steal your photos and re post them. They track your relationships online. They post a parallel life.
Three Tips to Protect Your Identity:
1) Lock down privacy settings
2) Lock down who can see your photos
3) Limit tagging your friends in posts and the information you provide
Three Tips for Victims:
1) Law Enforcement: If you are a victim, contact law enforcement immediately. It can take several months for social networking sites such as Facebook and others to turn over information that may help identify the culprit.
2) Report it to Facebook:
- Go to the profile in question and click "Report this Person" and choose "Report this Person" box, and then "Fake Account". Add to it "Impersonating me or someone else" as the report type.
- You will also need to have your valid account's web address to include in the report so they can compare the impersonator to you.
- For other helpful tips go to Facebook's help center at: https://www.facebook.com/help/?page=798
3) Legal Assistance: When you check with law enforcement, ask what the laws are for your state that might protect you.
- North Carolina has a cyber stalking law that might be appropriate in some cases.
- California, for example, has passed laws that say impersonating someone on social media is a misdemeanor.
WORD OF THE WEEK: NETLAG
NETLAG: A techie term for people that have clearly been online too long doing gaming or watching the Oscars or social networking. It's a mashup of Internet + Jet Lag.