‘KnowEm’: The Protection from Identity Theft in Social Media

Identity Theft is a major concern in real life. But would you be as attentive if it involves your virtual life? We all heard about content theft, scrappers who steal our blog contents for own benefits. Now evoked a big question in the social media world:

“How far would you go to protect your banding? Beloved URL? And of course, your username! Should we be worrying and constantly on the look-out for our vanity URL & username in the world wide web?”



A new website called KnowEm.com, co-founded by Barry Wise, was launched recently. It enables you to monitor hundreds of popular social media sites to prevent identity theft. For starter, by going to the site, key in your username, or any brand name that associates with your business/current projects etc; you’ll get a full glimpse of the account availability of your keyword for 120 popular sites:


I know what you’re thinking. 120++?? And I’m perfectly sure, a majority of us don’t own even 20% of the sites listed! The laborious tasks of registering each of them would be..well, somewhat, crazy, unless your branding name means the world to you. KnowEm does provide the service of securing your identity in one-go over 500 popular social networks, if you are willing to pay a fee.

This would be good news for the reputed companies, also celebrities if they ever plan to take social media seriously and further ahead.

The concerns?As much as I think normal people like us won’t bother much to pay for the service, some of the big names in various industries may not think so, ONLY IF they plan to make social media part of their marketing strategy. In a news article of L.A.Times: Ignore Twitter? Major Brands Learn They’d Better Respond–And Quick, Jeremiah Owyang, a senior analyst at Forrester Research made his point regarding the matter,

“To stay safe in the social media minefield, brands need to make sure to secure their own domain names in the various online environments — before any squatters do — and then start to build a community there. Then when a crisis happens, online or off, brands can then use that community to their advantage.”

Considering social media has gone mainstream nowadays, not to mention the Twitter frenzy between Ashton Kutcher and CNN, now even Oprah Winfrey joins in the game; predicting more famous parties may dip their toes into social media soon enough. While Know’Em may be seen as an alternative to partially prevent the identity theft in social media, some also see it as a timely opportunity to profit while creating a name in social web.

Do you think the identity theft concern is over-exaggerated? Or they are right on the punch? Would there be a branding/username-grabbing spree on the social media web from now on? Would you pay for the service? Do share with us your opinions.


  1. Cool program… I’ve tried it..and wow! There are so many..! Good idea but I doubt I’ll use it often though.

  2. Hi Cashmere,
    Yes, me too. It’s a good try though, good to know there is such service to curb the branding problem.

    I do overwhelmed by the page though. I wonder if somebody would register every single one of them? Perhaps just the popular ones?

  3. I’m overwhelmed by the number of sites it supports. A handy service for checking where you have lost your identity. I’ve seen similar services earlier but they have limited number of sites. This one is the best.

    BTW, just noticed your theme change. Now header looks cool with equally impressive sidebar.

  4. I like your new blog design…very nice. And identity theft is becoming a serious problem. We must be careful at all times.

  5. Hi Rajeev,
    I agree. I too, was amazed with the almost-complete service list provided. Some I’ve not even heard of yet.

    Glad you like the theme. Actually it was hidden all these times, and I thought it was only because of my slow bandwidth that it refused to show. Luckily I did a little tune up on the graphics, so there’s my guitar, finally. =)

    Hi Salute,
    You’re right, we should be careful. And thank you so much for your nice compliment.

  6. That just gives me too many ideas as to what other sites I could sign up for and play on. 🙂

    I do believe that identity theft is more rampant than most would expect, in that “it happens to other people, but not me” kind of way.

    I also wonder if sites like this, that check for your user name, could help enable people to do identity theft by searching for networks where a popular person hasn’t signed, up, and try to be that person on said network.

    ~ Kristi

  7. Hi Kristy,
    You’re totally right! ha.. I was going to do some roaming among the sites, there are just too many of them.

    I agree on the fact that some may even use it to commence identity theft (for sure). It’s unpreventable. A little conflict in between, which is why Barry Wise claimed that, they’ll monitor, and if the suspicious registration comes from an unlikely address, rather than the celebrity him/herself, they will not proceed with the registration. Again, what about us as no-named civilians? Well, guess we just have to monitor that ourselves, or register while it’s available, or pay for the service if too lazy, and too ‘hard’ to let go. =P sigh…

    Glad you drop by before the big day. ^^ I hope all the preparations are done and well. So excited for you! I wish I could do that all over again! Enjoy the moment, dear. Congrats!

  8. It is a scary thought. My site was hacked two days ago and they put up a fake Spanish banking site phishing for bank details. I was shut-down until I could prove I had nothing to do with it but if it happens twice more, I am shut-down permanently. Not sure how I can stop it happening again when I don’t know how it happened in the first place. 🙂
    Identity theft is frightening and prevelant. I guess you just have to keep on top of everything – which is why it is easier not be involved in the hundreds of networks… just a handful’s about all I can manage!

  9. Dear Michelle,
    Thank you for sharing this story. I have NO idea at all! That does sound scary enough, and frustrating. How on earth did that happen?

    You’re right. Some things are just out of our control. We could only do our best to prevent/monitor/react once we caught them. When social media is arising to its peak, it’s hard not to stay alert and protect our identity.

    If only there is an official Law/enforcement to punish the irresponsible stealers, maybe, one day.

  10. Hi Rose,
    It’s a choice, I guess. ^^

    I do think the service is beneficial for corporations or parties who may willing to pay for the service to prevent identity theft. As for us, perhaps manually sign up is what most of us would do.

    Thanks for your comment.

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