How to Prevent Identity Theft and Fraud When Using Social Media Networks.jpg

How to Prevent Identity Theft and Fraud When Using Social Media Networks

More people are becoming victims of identity theft each year.  Few realize their activity on social media is to blame. What you do on social media could become the next horror story people hear about when they learn their identity has been stolen.  If you are someone who enjoys sharing information online via social media you will want to take note of actions to keep your personal information safe.  The following details provide insight on how social media influences identity theft. Also, learn quick tips on how to avoid being the next victim.

Important Points to Remember to Keep Info Safe

When you are online with family and friends you may feel comfortable enough to share information.  In some cases, the information you share you may not think twice about.  While experts suggests you be more selective with content shared online, here are several examples of information you should try to avoid sharing since someone you don’t know could use it against you.

  • Personal information.  This can include a wide range of details you should avoid sharing. There are the common pieces of info such as your address, Social Security number, and phone number.  Experts say this should include organizations you are a member of, names of pets you have in your home, when you graduated from school, and other relevant personal details. Such information helps lurkers get closer to personal damage.
  • Phishing via email, texts, or online conversation.  Scammers may pretend to offer a service or information about something only to take your information.  Such scams are created to steal personal information from people while looking innocent in the process. If you are in doubt about someone asking personal questions research the company they claim to be with before sharing information.
  • GPS tracking should be turned off.  Too many times people share their current status on Facebook to include where they are currently. Many phones and social media platforms have this feature you can turn off.  Strangers can learn were you work, where you live, and anywhere you visit in real time.
  • Keep tabs on privacy settings and apps associated with your Facebook profile.  Such content can be used by strangers to commit criminal acts and perform malicious acts.
  • False profiles.  Avoid accepting information from some with a profile that has little or no information. It may not have a profile picture or have a picture that looks questionable.  If they don’t have many friends and the profile looks fairly new ignore the friend request. Such profiles are used to get personal info from real profiles leading to misleading information shared to others you didn’t create at all.
  • Fraudsters are getting more clever accessing personal information.  There was a report of an American soldier that had his bank account drained while oversees.  Investigators learned fraud was committed by someone who used his Facebook profile, his name, and his email.  Be cautious of information you include on social media profiles.

Common Sense Tips

Don’t share information such as your username, password, photo ID number, birthday, and primary email account. Learn how identity theft occurs and new ways criminals are doing it. Change your passwords often.  Add people to your contact list you know personally.  Take advantage of security verification features and choose security answers only you will know. Be aware of information you share online and who it is shared with.  Keep an eye on your credit report and Google yourself to see if anything is out of the ordinary. Educate yourself on other ways to stay safe on social media.

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