Everyday businesses use social media as a means to promote themselves directly to customers. And while social media has created no-cost marketing opportunities is has also created risks, such as identify theft and possible data breaches.

Social media provides a multitude of positive opportunities, including increased business and customer connections as well as a key way to promote and enable engagement with brands. Although businesses should take full advantage of the marketing opportunity social media presents, it is vital they always protect themselves to minimise any potential online criminal activity.

Identity theft is the UK’s fastest-growing method used to carry out criminal activity. With social media sites asking for users to provide as much personal and business information as possible, online perpetrators are finding it easier than ever to steal identities and commit fraud. Social media creates a permanent record of all personal and business information, and ‘old’ or out of date information can be stolen, resulting in a data leak.

We love the increased use of social media at Jumio, and we are firm advocates of using technology to make life easier – but never at the detriment of security. One way to help combat cyber identity theft is to use a verification tool to prove the authenticity of a person’s identity, by turning a computer or smartphone into a real-time ID scanning terminal.