Real-time identity theft risk assessment on social networks

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Identity theft can occur after individuals share personal information on social networks, and some people are known to post personally identifiable details on their social network profiles. With consideration for these issues, this study was aimed at determining the probability of identity theft due to the sharing of personal information on social networks and how such sharing leads to identity theft. To assess the risk posed by this sharing, this research proposed a qualitative risk assessment designed to calculate the risks arising from the sharing of various types of personal information, such as names, addresses and credit card numbers. To proof the concept, a Chrome extension that can be run on Twitter was developed, and the proposed risk assessment was used as a basis from which to perform a real-time evaluation of the potential hazard arising from tweets. The extension was tested and evaluated on the grounds of questionnaire responses from Twitter users. The results showed that the users were satisfied with the extension’s performance in detecting personal information and determining the level of expected risk. This finding reflects the success of this study’s approach to calculating the risk of identity theft when personal information is shared on social networks.