Digital identity theft can affect kids for years

Piratage de comptes et vol d’identité

Digital identity theft, often linked to profile theft, consists of creating a fake profile, either with information retrieved from the true account, or by inventing from scratch. Generally the objective is to mock the victim, posting controversial or provocative comments, but it can equally be that the hijacked profile is the victim of hate comments.

As social relations have an increasingly important digital component, this type of effect on digital identity can have a very negative impact on a child's environment.

Hacking of accounts (Facebook, Twitter, messaging)

The hacking of accounts is an operation performed by a third party, which consists of retrieving the login credentials for an account on social networking or gaming, then using this account for malicious purposes: mass mailing of spam, spreading viruses or attempted scams to get money.

The most widely used hacking technique is phishing: the user receives an email from an authoritative source (Facebook, Google, Blizzard) in which they are asked to provide their username and password.

Another technique, the scam, is to create a relationship with the target and then abuse their trust.

The scam relies on the gullibility of the victim - which is often the case with children!

Digital identity fraud

Identity theft or fraud is a direct consequence, and the objective, of an account hacking. The thief pretends to be the victim on social networks, by posting messages on their behalf.

When hacking is committed by peers, the goal is usually to make fun of a classmate by posting announcements or ridiculous pictures to laugh at the expense of the victim. In the most extreme cases, private content (photos and written) is published and widely discussed.

It can also have real effects in the medium to long term: the reputation of the victim is tainted and requires laborious explanations or causes conflicts with their inner circle.

And years later, the traces of these messages will still be online. So, how do we evaluate the impact of a bad joke by a classmate on the professional future of the victim? Hate comments or compromising photos represent future prejudices, of which the consequences are still difficult to evaluate.



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