A 2017 Must: Identity Theft Prevention That Includes Social Media
2016 was the year of social media. Worldwide, there were over 1.79 billion monthly active Facebook users, which is a 16 percent increase year over year. Along with this trend, came increases in identity theft perpetrated via social media.
Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, and other social media sites have become the new ground zero for identity theft and credit card fraud. Given the amount of personal data that exists on these sites, it shouldn’t come as a surprise that criminals have turned to social media to try and exploit as much information as possible. Couple this with the fact that most people don’t take any identity theft prevention measures and it’s clear why social media is a breeding ground for thieves.
The rich and famous keep making the news with their latest social media infiltrations. Taylor Swift, Donald Trump, Alec Baldwin, and even Mark Zuckerberg are just a few of the celebrities that have had their social media accounts compromised.
As we get into 2017 , it may be time to reconsider your social media presence, how you can use some basic identity theft prevention measures to defend yourself online, and whether you should implement identity fraud protection services like LogDog
Why You May Be Vulnerable on Social Media
The very nature of social media is what offers such a ripe opportunity for thieves. Given the fact that social media’s revenue stream comes from targeted advertising sites like Facebook encourage you to enter as much personal information as possible.
Take a typical Facebook profile. It likely includes the following items:
- Profile pictures
- Full name
- Hometown and current location
- School name and/or graduation date
- Date of birth
- Relationship status
You may ask yourself, what’s the big deal? After all, you aren’t exposing your social security number, bank account number, or credit card number. So how can you really be at risk?
Well, think of your identity as a puzzle. Each piece of personal information is like a piece of that puzzle. Fraudsters can use social media to put those pieces together and hijack your identity. Similarly, if you get your Facebook account hacked, it becomes easy as pie for hackers to accumulate the information needed to impersonate you. Once they have a full picture, they can gain access to your credit cards, banks accounts, and other personal and financial information.
The 2017 New Year’s Resolution: Take Identity Theft Prevention Measures Online!
So for 2017, we highly recommend you take some identity theft prevention measures online to help keep your identity under wraps. Here are some tips that the security experts at LogDog recommend you keep in mind when using social media:
- Seriously think about what information you want to include in your internet profile. Consider keeping personal information like your birth date, home address, and primary e-mail address unlisted or hidden on your social media profiles.
- Think twice before posting on social media. Minimize the amount of intimate details you are putting into the public sphere. Status updates can be exploited by criminals to perpetrate crimes against you.
- Disable GPS notifications and status updates that can reveal where you live and work.
- Lastly, NEVER, EVER give out your most precious details like your social security number, driver’s license number, or passport number. These pieces of information are the keys to the door that is your identity, and should be closely guarded.
Overall, taking the above identity theft prevention measures will help keep you a little safer online. If you want an extra layer of fraud monitoring, consider signing up for LogDog’s services. We monitor your accounts for you, and if anything out of the ordinary comes up, we’ll alert you right away.
So there you have it. 2017 is a new year and we recommend you take steps to protect yourself online; you don’t want to start off the year having to deal with identity theft and all of the headaches that come with it.