Watch Out, Identity Thieves: Your Mouse Movement Can Give You Away

Identity theft is one of the scourges of the internet era. It creates a huge hassle for victims that can takes ages (and cost a lot of money) to clean up.

However, it looks like a new form of software may prove helpful in catching people when they are using their mouse for less than legal activities. Scientists at the University of Padova used 40 people in a survey that asked them to participate in a quiz where they would reveal some personal details.  20 were told to answer truthfully, while the rest were given a profile of made-up details to memorize.

While they answered 12 questions, a software program kept track of the ways in which the participants moved their mouse. The program’s analysis revealed that the mouse movements used by the honest people differed from ones encouraged to lie. Everyone was also asked some yes/no questions to answer and the liar group was told to tell the truth on these.

All of this data allowed the scientists to come to an interesting conclusion: the mouse movements of the lying group were less direct than the truthful participants.

This is a new and interesting way of catching fraudsters. While it is still best to come up with ways that prevent identity theft in the first place, if it is still going to happen, then the faster the criminal is apprehended, the better.

Identity theft remains of significant concern to Canadian authorities. While victims of this sort of crime become aware faster, it is taking longer to clear their name and get their credit status back to normal.

Do you think you might be a victim of identity theft? Here is a handy checklist of the steps you should take, courtesy of the Royal Canadian Mounted Police. That page also contains information that will help ensure this never happens to you.

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