This infographic illustrates the different ways in which identities are stolen and includes the percentages of each way as well. The top half of the graphic is “traditional” methods of stealing identities and the bottom half is new ways of stealing identities online.







This infographic summarizes an article from the Scientific American where the author talks about his experience hacking into his friend’s bank account through information he found online only. In the infographic we illustrate the steps he took, as well as include a statistic on the number of people who have their identities stolen each year.


Online Dating Identities


Above is an infographic addressing relevant statistics to online dating service users.


Online Dating Identities


This infographic addresses the quantities, percentages, and other relevant statistics of social media users. We have ranked (based on a number of factors and opinions) how we view each social medium’s profiles in terms of how identifiable their users are.




According to Merriam-Webster, identity is defined as “who someone is and the qualities and beliefs that make them different from the others”. With the continuous growth of technology in our era, social media now plays a dominant role in determining our identity and what separates us from others. Identity on the internet can range from dating websites to social media platforms, and even reach as far as linking people to their personal information, such as credit card information and bank statements. The growth of types of social media has also created a divide in the way people present themselves on different outlets. Different types of social media profiles create opportunities for different grades and quantities of information to be featured. For example, identities on Tumblr include the bare minimum of information on a person, whereas, on LinkedIn, profiles are held to a higher standard and taken more seriously.

We divided identity on the internet into three primary categories: the dating culture on the web, social media—both formal and informal, and the web pages that link us to potential identity fraud. These categories each have their own identity-related issues and can often overlap. One main issue we looked at is identity fraud and theft that comes as result of the oversharing of personal information, a habit that people don’t know can put them at risk. For example, throughout 2014, it has been recorded that there are 500 million users on Facebook and 232 million users on Twitter. Of those 500 million profiles on Facebook, an estimated 83 million of them are either fake or “duplicated” accounts, meaning that they are an impersonation of an individual created by someone other than himself or herself. It is hard to control these false identities when there is no system in place to verify all accounts. We found that the only social media outlet coming close to doing this is Twitter, but Twitter will only verify celebrity accounts leaving all others variable.


When researching identity, we came to the conclusion that although there is a lack of factual information on the web providing statistics about fraudulent accounts and websites, we all could personally think of a time when someone portrayed themselves differently on the internet than how they were on real life making it a very relevant issue for our generation. Although we struggled to find any theories on online identity and the effects on users, we were able to make our own theories based on statistics.

From the perspectives of four college-aged students, with futures in job-searching, we feel that it is not only beneficial, but also necessary, for Internet users to build solid, consistent identities online. Since the online facet of our identities is so key to our overall identities, it is important to be straightforward, as well as liberal, with the information that we present. Though this does increase our vulnerability as Internet users, it also helps employers to form an opinion on us based on information that is under our close control. Rather than perceiving our identities from the one-shot impressions we give in interviews, employers have the opportunity to look through online information that we have the chance to thoroughly curate. This opportunity can be more representative of our work.

On the other hand, we, as Internet and media users, have the responsibility to consider online identities with the knowledge that fraudulence and theft are prevalent online. Though we may share truthful and well rounded profiles of ourselves online, we must be cognizant of the fact that online identities are not always held to a high standard, especially on sites like Facebook, Twitter, and Tumblr. Certain media profiles, specifically Tumblr, are more concerned with the creativity of the content, than the originality of the information and if it is accurate in the representation of the user. However, there are also forms of media, like LinkedIn, that are more concerned with the legitimacy of a user’s information, and strive for validation among a given user’s network. Overall, online identities can be either positive and useful, or misleading and misused. It is up to us, as responsible Internet users, to both represent ourselves well online, and to be able to determine when online profiles hold value.


The rise of new media has caused humans to make several adjustments in the way we live our daily lives and perceive things. We chose the topic of online identity to supplement what we learned about new media in class this semester. The issue of balancing an identity online and identity in reality seems to be a fairly prevalent struggle of our generation. Social media, online dating, and other outlets, such as blogs or Linkedin, allow us to share a substantial amount of our personal lives on the web, affecting the way we develop our basic identities as people. People are no longer identified and judged by solely their actions in reality, but by the way they act online as well. Consequently, people’s online identities have also increased the risk of identity theft. We decided to tie in the issue of identity theft to our project because the increase of online identities and theft go hand in hand. Therefore, this topic has huge importance in the way new media and technology is progressing and how people interact with it to build an identity while protecting it as well. Our artifact and research are important because although we were mainly only able to find statistics, rather than theories on the topic, we tried to make them cohesive and combine what we know about new media ourselves as users to show how identity affects us and our generation.


As a group, we decided the best way to show our research, as well as most other statistical research, was through infographics.  Nicholas Carr conveyed it best in his article, Is Google Making Us Stupid? He stated that “it is clear that users are not reading online in the traditional sense; indeed there are signs that new forms of ‘reading’ are emerging as users ‘power browse’ horizontally through titles, contents pages and abstracts going for quick wins. It almost seems that they go online to avoid reading in the traditional sense.” With the use of infographics, we were able to condense a lot of information, while also making it visually appealing to those accessing it, a common trend among the design of social media websites today. As Nicholas Carr discussed, people are more likely to stop and look at an infographic rather than read lengthy papers. Infographics are highly effective because today’s society is more visually receptive, and can process visual information more efficiently.




Team members and contact info:

Kate McCarthy-

Trilby Lawless –

Caitlin Pilgrim-

Colin McCall-


For our project we will be addressing identity in new media, focusing on the concepts of blended identity, reputation and identity in the virtual world versus the real world.

We plan to execute a website including infographics to convey the topic of identity on the Internet.


Project Timeline:

Week of October 20- Research our topic.

Week of October 27- Finish any research and write paper to prep for informal presentation

Week of November 3 and 10- Create infographics

Week of November 17- Create accompanying website/blog for the infographics

November 24+25- Prepare to Presentation



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