Friday, October 10, 2014

The big identity rip-off

For a number of years we have all been warned about identity theft. This is just one among many reasons why domain names are being dumped for my blogs. Nobody needs to know who owns the domain. Nobody needs to know how to contact the domain owner. In order to maintain a domain name, it's necessary to pay for a domain name and then pay for domain name privacy which is not always available. In Britain for example, anybody that checks "UK individual representing self" gets automatic, free domain privacy as long as the website is of a non-commercial nature.

Over the past few years I've been hounded by somebody online. I'm pretty sure that the person that's hounding me is not the person that they're purporting to be. Yesterday, for example, I had an email allegedly from this person that wanted me to join their LinkedIn network. I dropped LinkedIn probably a year ago. So long ago that I don't really recall. LinkedIn is allegedly a professional network yet the antics of those using it would demonstrate that it is anything but professional. More like a bunch of bored teenagers pretending to be businessmen.

After receiving an email from the individual concerned, I looked them up on Facebook and found that their portrait was the same as on their LinkedIn email but that they were described differently. On LinkedIn they were a "Professional Photographer" (excuse the laughter - there's no such creature). On Facebook, they were a "church secretary" (much more believable). On Google+ they're an architect. Same photo, same name, same person?

Given that somebody is unlikely to be a "Professional Photographer" (haw haw) at the same time as being a Church Secretary and an Architect, at least two of those accounts have to be fake. We can pretty much eliminate the "Professional Photographer" LinkedIn profile from the genuine list by virtue of it being a total falsehood. There's no need to prove anything there. This leaves Church Secretary and Architect. Either of those could be true though I'm going to say that it's more likely that this person is a Church Secretary than an architect.

There is a 3rd option - all the pictures could have been lifted off the internet and recycled, creating somebody a totally false identity. It could be a stolen identity or it could be somebody concealing their own identity by making up a fake identity to use online in order that their real identity is not used fraudulently.

So, as ever, it pays to conceal one's identity online. This is why the domain name that used to be reserved for this blog is not being renewed (or rather, one of the reasons - the main being financial). The domain expires on October 12th. I can't say that it overly worries me that it will expire. It might cut down on the hits I get from internet forums. As stated before, I'd rather people read my blog because it is interesting than because they find backlinks to follow, mindlessly.

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