The case of Laura Dean has been treated as a “wake up call” to the millions of users of social networking sites. At first glance it appears there is nothing that Facebook (or any other social media site) could have done to prevent the theft and subsequent abuse of her identity.

I was briefly on the “you can’t blame technology for this one” bandwagon until I stopped and thought about the ways in which fraud detection systems work and applied that process to the very simple login process used by every social media site in existence.

Consider for a moment that a miscreant has obtained your username and password based on your public profile information. Almost every social networking site – and software in general that requires authorization – will allow you access based on these two very simple pieces of information.