Statistics have recently shown that 98 percent of people between the ages of thirteen and thirty-nine in all highly-urbanized areas across the world own their Face book account. That of course, is a patent lie, absolutely unfounded except when you count in sheer imagination as a source of reliable information. But I’m pretty sure you won’t argue with me when I say that more and more people are in fact getting accounts from these online community or profile-sharing websites such as Facebook, MySpace, and the now totally-unhip-and-unpopular Friend-thingie. Yes, more and more people are willing to publish vital and confidential personal information to the whole world , for whatever reason. Some may want to reconnect with friends from the past, some may just want to meet new friends, and for some, this may be the only venue where they can have friends. Virtual friends are still better than none.
While some rejoice because they can finally interact with other people, some people are even happier, because of what these websites can give rise to: identity theft. Yes, in case you weren’t aware, it’s so easy to build a profile of one person by simply appropriating all the available information on that person and, basically, do whatever you want with it. Names, birthdays, addresses, photographs, and in some cases, even work experience; they can be found in these online communities and profile-sharing sites.
The problem is not a lot of people are aware that these things may actually happen or that people may in fact do this. But it’s so easy to do and the thing is, any person, even with the minimum required skills for internet use, can do it. Add the fact that the internet is not exactly a haven for the nicest people and you’ve got a recipe for identity theft and other online fraud. Identity theft is a growing problem, and it seems like the rather unsafe and very inconvenient information sharing mechanisms in these websites make it much easier. The worst part of it is that you can’t really get any proper remedy from existing laws to correct such misdeeds. Oftentimes, your solution would just have to be, well, suck it up. Go to authorities and you’ll most likely hear one thing: you should have just been careful.