Social media platforms are infested with phonies, and not just your best friend’s irritating co-worker (although he totally is). This is about the fact that fake identities comprise 25 percent of new social media accounts created every day, and that 53 percent of all social media logins are fraudulent, according to a recent study. Considering the scope of these vulnerabilities, fraudsters are making social media riskier places to hang out these days.
With the two-headed Facebook-Instagram giant now bustling online marketplaces and not just social sharing platforms anymore, stakes are getting higher faster. Cybercrooks are activating millions of fake identities they’ve patiently created on the most popular social media sites, phishing for personal info, posing as legitimate connections, and basically causing havoc.
Private industry and government agencies have had enough, and they’re mobilizing. Card issuers are fielding new technologies and utilizing next-gen identity verification technology to expose the fakers and make social media — and the wider digital domain — safe for kitten vids and funny memes again. Biometrics are the key to more reliable digital identities, as we learn in the February 2020 Digital ID Tracker®, done in collaboration with Jumio.
Smartphone and Registration, Please
Within four years there will be 800 million smartphones in-market with facial recognition scanning capabilities. Add those to the 4.6 billion phones with fingerprint scanning that will go to market at the same time, and you’ve got the makings of a serious online security upgrade.
That upgrade is coming in the form of national digital ID initiatives now underway in a number of countries from Argentina to Ukraine. Passports aside, the U.S. federal government doesn’t issue a national identity card, so a number of states have taken it upon themselves.
Digital driver’s license (DDL) programs are popping up in several U.S. states including Colorado and Louisiana, which are testing DDLs from a group of tech firms. DDLs stored on smartphones are protected by the phone’s encryption and their own anti-theft countermeasures, making digital ID potentially more secure than any other widely available form of identity verification.
“It’s important to understand that DDLs are not meant to replace the physical plastic card,” Randy Vanderhoof, executive director of Secure Technology Alliance (STA) told PYMNTS. “It’s a complement to the card that can be used in situations that warrant more security, privacy, safety and a digital audit trail. Nothing new really needs to be invented to do that, but providers like Apple, Google and Samsung are making improvements to their operating systems specifically to support these types of mobile identity credentials,” Vanderhoof said.
Making Social Safe Again
With about half the earth’s population expected to have a social media account by the end of 2021, and considering how social media is touching more areas of our digital lives, the press to separate the reals from the fakes has never been more important. The presence of fake profiles tracks closely with cybercrime attacks, so vigilance is the watchword.
More companies are choosing end-to-end identity verification and authentication systems running artificial intelligence (AI) programs that can sort through millions of transactions looking for malicious bots acting like people. It’s a unique toolset that tends to be the expertise of the Identity-as-a-Service (Iaas) providers specializing in error-proof image capture and other hard to defeat forms of identity verification.