How to Protect Your Social Media Pages from Identity Theft
In today’s world, it seems we’ve all become accustomed using at least one, if not two, three, four or even five social networking platforms to connect with friends, family and colleagues online. We easily forget that there are untrustworthy individuals and criminals who can prowl the internet and use our social media profiles to gather information and steal our identities.
Keep your social networks safe from identity thieves with these four simple tips:
- When you set up a social media profile, make sure you customize the privacy settings. On social networks like Facebook, Twitter, and Google+, set the privacy settings so that your personal information is only visible to you or your immediate friends – don’t let “friends of friends” or the “public” have access to this identifying information.
- Keep your important personal information private and to yourself – don’t post about it in Facebook status updates, tweets, etc. Never share your full birthdate, birth place, phone number or an exact place of residence. Even divulging details like your high school or your pet’s name can lead to identity theft, as these are answers to security questions often used to guard your private information, like bank account and credit card logins and passwords.
- Don’t “tag” or location or “check-in” to a place on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram or Foursquare. Along the same lines, don’t post updates to your social networks about being away from home or out of town on a vacation. Posting this information can make you vulnerable to criminals, burglars and identity thieves.
- Create strong and original passwords! Don’t use anything obvious, like your birthdate, pet’s name, or significant other’s name in your passwords. Always try to incorporate a capital letter, lowercase letter, number and symbol into your passwords in order to make them most effective.
Check out this great Better Business Bureau article and infographic to learn more about identity theft on social media sites.
As always, stay tuned for more updates on identity theft.