Faking It Online - InformationWeek

InformationWeek is part of the Informa Tech Division of Informa PLC

This site is operated by a business or businesses owned by Informa PLC and all copyright resides with them.Informa PLC's registered office is 5 Howick Place, London SW1P 1WG. Registered in England and Wales. Number 8860726.

IoT
IoT
Government // Cybersecurity

Faking It Online

What's so social about social networkers falsifying their personal information to protect themselves?

5:55 PM -- What if your social networking pal is, well, faking it? Don't say you haven't been warned: turns out that one third of U.K. users on social networking sites have input false information about themselves as a way to protect their identity, says a new survey by U.K.-based emedia.

Many of them -- 62 percent -- say they are worried about their personal data that resides on social networking sites, and 31 percent have resorted to providing fake information.

The survey press release doesn't say exactly what information these social networkers are falsifying, but imagine if your "bf4l" isn't really, or if that potential customer you met online isn't really in your sales territory after all?

Of course, it depends on the information you're faking. Maybe posting your geographic location in Turkey or some deserted island is relatively harmless and may make you feel more secure, but what about lying about your marital status? Or pretending to be someone you're not? Sure, pedophiles and bad guys pose as someone else online all the time, but what good is a social networking site if even the good guys are being dishonest?

Nearly half of the 100 respondents in the survey said they use social networking sites at work, and 24 percent say they visit these sites every day, and up to 45 percent, once a week. Their favorites, according to the survey: Friends Reunited, YouTube, MySpace, Facebook, and LinkedIn. Although 87 percent said social networking sites can be used for business reasons, only 11 percent are actually using them this way, according to the survey.

And interestingly, half say they have a problem with the "intrusiveness" of advertisements on these sites: Over 70 percent say they've opted out of newsletters from social networking sites. That's a relief. I mean, can you imagine how those emails would intrude on their time to social network at work?

Good thing they're pretending to be located somewhere else.

— Kelly Jackson Higgins, Senior Editor, Dark Reading

We welcome your comments on this topic on our social media channels, or [contact us directly] with questions about the site.
Comment  | 
Print  | 
More Insights
InformationWeek Is Getting an Upgrade!

Find out more about our plans to improve the look, functionality, and performance of the InformationWeek site in the coming months.

Commentary
New Storage Trends Promise to Help Enterprises Handle a Data Avalanche
John Edwards, Technology Journalist & Author,  4/1/2021
Slideshows
11 Things IT Professionals Wish They Knew Earlier in Their Careers
Lisa Morgan, Freelance Writer,  4/6/2021
Commentary
How to Submit a Column to InformationWeek
InformationWeek Staff 4/9/2021
White Papers
Register for InformationWeek Newsletters
Video
Current Issue
Successful Strategies for Digital Transformation
Download this report to learn about the latest technologies and best practices or ensuring a successful transition from outdated business transformation tactics.
Slideshows
Flash Poll