New Website Protects Usernames From Social Media Identity Theft

Thwart Social Media Identity TheftI just launched a new website, the next iteration of not only checks for the availability of your username on 120 sites, for a small fee we’ll stake your claim on every one of them by automatically signing you up. ( launched a new web service today which monitors hundreds of popular websites for social media identity theft. By entering a username, which can be a brand name, internet identity, or vanity URL, allows you to instantly monitor the availability of that username on over 120 popular social media websites such as Twitter, MySpace and Digg.

“Social Media identity theft is the modern form of domain name squatting,” says KnowEm co-founder, Barry Wise. “10 years ago it was a race to get Today it’s a race to secure a brand name on sites such as Twitter, which is quickly becoming an amazing tool for both brand transparency and customer service.”

A quick check today revealed that some of the biggest brands in the world have still not secured their account name to protect their brand from identity theft. For example, Google (NASDAQ:GOOG), Pepsi (NYSE:PEP), Microsoft (NASDAQ:MSFT), Exxon (NYSE:XOM) and Citigroup (NYSE:C) still show that dozens, and in some cases over 80%, of popular social media websites still list their brand names as available account names.

It’s not just major media brand names that have dropped the ball — many celebrities have not secured their online identity either. Ashton Kutcher and Oprah Winfrey’s recent exposure on the popular new microblogging service has shown that celebrities are taking interest in using social media as a vehicle for PR and communication. But as of today their Twitter screen names, @aplusk and @oprah, are still both available on almost 90% of other websites on’s list.

“The time is coming when online reputation management is critical even for normal citizens. You would be surprised how many companies are now using Google to see what a prospective hire has about them on the internet,” says Knowem co-founder, Michael Streko. “It is just too risky to let your name fall into the hands of someone else.”

KnowEm not only monitors to see if your username is available on 120 sites, it also offers a commercial service which will register your brand or username for you. For $64.95 you can secure your identity on over 120 different social media websites. For an additional $9.95 per month, they will also continue to monitor new websites and register your username on them as soon as they launch.

Tags: automatic username signup, checkusernames, identity theft, knowem, social media

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29 Responses to “New Website Protects Usernames From Social Media Identity Theft”

  1. Maneet Puri on April 21st, 2009 6:49 am

    Hi Barry,

    Have you redirected to this website??

  2. ITCN on April 21st, 2009 6:52 am

    Yes, now points to We still offer the same great free username check service as before, we just offer a lot more now!

  3. Miami WebDesign on April 26th, 2009 3:19 am

    hello ,

    Its a good service but just wanted to know that how you would create accounts on all 120 sites manually and how long it would take to do this



  4. Web Design on April 27th, 2009 3:20 am

    In this age of social media theft the need of an Internet tool is a must which can keep a track of username theft and is a great blessing.

  5. nick on May 2nd, 2009 7:35 pm

    there are many celebrities that are late to the social media game. last week i saw an ebay auction for a celebrities name (to remain nameless) on twitter. what is this world coming to?

  6. Jeet on May 10th, 2009 12:15 pm

    I agree that reserving vanity URLs in twitter, blogspot, wordpress, livejournal has become important nowadays. I guess I should start using knowem to reserve Dalai Lama’s URLs and ask the followers to buy my services ;-)

  7. Jlbraaten - Internet Strategy for Beginners on May 19th, 2009 1:49 pm

    These types of sites are golden to claim your online identity. Thanks for the tips!

  8. The Agra Indian on May 27th, 2009 7:55 am

    Thanks Barry for the great post.

    This is a great service, losing own identity is really a big problem and it becomes bigger when it comes to business. All businesses want to be identified by their own names but when that is not available people look for alternatives that some times don’t work well.

  9. Car Sales Leads on May 28th, 2009 7:01 pm

    I didn’t know Social Media Identity Theft was that big of an issue…?
    Nice blog post.

  10. Jonathan Mark on May 29th, 2009 5:50 pm

    This article openned my eyes on the importance of User names I guess. I didn’t think abot Social Media in that sense.

  11. Grand Rapids Web Design on May 31st, 2009 10:27 pm

    This tool IMO is awesome but I bet there would still be sooo much spam…

  12. Opticians on June 16th, 2009 2:09 pm

    This is a brilliant Idea, But im not sure this will work. It reminds me of OpenID

  13. Healthcare on June 17th, 2009 6:29 am

    Really good idea. I hope that it works out for you

  14. jlbraaten on June 21st, 2009 11:57 pm

    See… I think a service to enroll you in these sites is great. But I’m not sure how much of this is overkill. If you have a trademarked name, you should be ok. If you’re a John Smith, it’s a different story.

  15. Frank J on June 22nd, 2009 5:03 pm

    This is a great article now that Facebook is changing their URL structure to Usernames & Custom Vanity URLs.

  16. Keyword Suggestion Ken on June 24th, 2009 5:43 pm

    yah, brand squatting is big if for anything but to keep the vultures from trying to hijack your brand.

    i’m also a big believer in brand query domination in the SERPs for this very same reason.

    KS Ken

  17. Jay Zuckerman on June 27th, 2009 9:21 pm

    Like a few others I am totally taken aback by the concept of this, but at the same time it makes sense. I have never previously heard about social media identity theft and I am glad I find myself educated with the antidote.

  18. .docx on July 2nd, 2009 10:01 am

    Great Idea, I will sign up for this for sure!!

  19. Alexa on July 2nd, 2009 6:54 pm

    We really can’t avoid spam but I guess
    this service could lessen or prevent.
    But could it really prevent the social media identity theft?

  20. Media Precision on July 6th, 2009 4:03 pm

    Barry yet again a great post. Identity theft is a big worry on social networking sites.

  21. Teeth Whitening Cost on August 25th, 2009 1:50 pm

    In attempting to secure online brand awareness without having to bastardize your brand name across so many social media sites, this is a very practical service and I can see a big demand for it.

  22. SJL Web Design on September 8th, 2009 5:00 am

    Great site Barry, Identity theft via social networking sites can be a huge worry for a lot of people. Thanks for taking the time to put this site together.

  23. SEO Trainer Brian on September 18th, 2009 9:18 am

    This is an outstanding tool. I’m going to add it to my SEO training and Internet marketing course.

  24. Blogger on September 19th, 2009 8:55 am

    It’s becoming difficult for companies to keep up with all of the “important” sites to create accounts on. This tool should help.

  25. Webmaster Forum on October 20th, 2009 1:20 pm

    Awesome article Barry, and quite reminding of how identity theft can literally destroy your name and business online, not to mention your reputation if you have a high reputable name in the media field.

  26. Outsourcing Lifestyle on October 22nd, 2009 11:07 am

    This is very good indeed. I can say that now a days social media identity theft as you call it is very much a problem. It is a good thing that you were able to create this site “” so that we can keep our accounts.

  27. seo leeds on November 1st, 2009 11:21 pm

    Hi Barry,

    Just took a look at knowem and I have to say its a fantastic piece of work.


  28. rick on November 5th, 2009 2:55 pm

    Love the idea!

  29. Mark SEO Leeds on May 5th, 2010 3:31 pm

    Great service, theres a growing list and i noticed this was originally published last year – have you been keeping up with the plethora of new social media sites that have been born/died in the last 12 months?