How-to Avoid Identity Theft on Social Media
There are many different outlets for identity theft and sadly, your social media accounts are more vulnerable than you think. That being said, NO ONE is immune to identity theft on social media networks.
ID Theft Authority offers a list of 7 ways to avoid identity theft on your social media accounts:
1. Keep personal details private: According to a 2012 Identity Fraud Report put out by Javelin, social media behaviors were studied and they found that 68 percent of social media profiles include birthdates; 45 percent of them included full birthdates; 63 percent shared their high school’s name; 18 percent shared their phone number; and 12 percent shared their pet’s name. It’s best to not include certain details about yourself to avoid having them used to steal your identity.
2. Make your privacy settings strict: Go into your settings in your social media accounts and edit your privacy settings. Be sure to make your personal and private details only visible to your friends. The more lenient you are about your privacy settings, the easier it is for strangers to access your personal information. Visit http://www.idtheftauthority.com/types/social-media/to read more about this.
3. Don’t tag your locations: When you tag or post your location, you’re making you and/or your home more vulnerable. Having the ability to tag or post your location is an awesome feature, but if you tell the world you are in Europe, then strangers will have the go ahead to break into your house.
4. Know who your friends are: Don’t make your information accessible to people you’ve never met before in real life. The better advice here would be to not befriend people you’ve never met or seen before, period.
5. Keep yourself logged out of your social media accounts:This tip is especially important when you’re using a public computer at a library or a hotel.
6. Use difficult passwords: Passwords are one of the main keys to keeping your identity safe., so it’s essential that you make them effective by creating passwords that are difficult for fraudsters to crack.
7. Make sure you use an internet security software suite: When you use internet security software, it protects your identity when you’re surfing the web or using your social media accounts.
A commonly used trick is when you receive a message with a link from one of your “friends” and then you click on the link or file which happens to contain a keystroke malware program that can steal all of your personal information from your computer.
One of the best ways to stop this from happening is by having anti-virus software. Most software comes with identity theft features.
The #1 Solution:
Please keep in mind, while the above tips are definitely helpful in preventing your identity from getting stolen through your social media accounts, they are only preventative measures and are not a surefire way to stop identity theft altogether. If you decide to have a social media account, you must accept the risks involved.
The ID Theft Authority has some additional tips and information on their site. Check out the following link: http://www.idtheftauthority.com/types/social-media/.