How does Social Media Facilitate the Identity Theft and Fraud?

This article strives to elaborate the various risks that a person can counter if he is not wise in securing information on social networks.

When we upload or share something on the social networks so that our friends and acquaintances can get the taste of it, little do we realize that all these can be subjected to theft at some time or the other. This does not mean that we are unaware of information stealth. We only fail to realize that we too can pose victims of this crime.

Protecting your information on social media

You can very well continue your ventures on social media without worrying about your information getting hacked. Identity theft protection is something that involves certain processes, and most importantly, it requires you to be alert and smart while you are surfing the internet for interesting posts. Make sure you read the fine print of the social media you are using. Do not ever part with your full name or address unless necessary. Posting photos that say a lot about you is a strict no-no. These are the basic precautions you can take, even though the internet is not at all a safe place.

Fueling the fire

It is often seen that social media display advertisements that require names, e-mails, and passwords. Without much interference from the government, people are exposed to theft. To top it up, these sites are full of personal information that is vulnerable open to frauds and theft. Sites like Google have designed an algorithm that encourages its users to try it at least once. And when you try it, Boo! You are almost out.

Crimes of opportunity

Believe it or not, social media can expose you big time. When you state that you have been to a theatre and post some jolly photos, remember that they are very much on the verge of being stolen by criminals. Even if you post important documents deemed important by your company, beware, criminals are everywhere.

Elements that can be used to steal or misappropriate your identity:

Users should consider the following elements that are prone to identity thefts. This includes:

  1. Full name (middle name in particular)
  2. Date of Birth
  3. Home Town
  4. Relationship status
  5. Graduation dates
  6. Nicknames
  7. Hobbies and interests

Information that can be used to compromise your identity

Could you find anything among the above elements common with what you have just shared on your fresh profile? Yes, they are required; all of them on social media and that is why they are the favorite grounds of social networking thieves. There are tonnes of profiles are said earlier, and some of them are not even reviewed properly. These profiles could pose serious threats to the ‘innocent’ profiles. The worst part is that some of the sites do not even require your passwords. Your e-mail and Facebook addresses will do just as well. Now, that is something very ‘phish-y’.

Guarding against identity fraud

  • Never mention your confidential card details such as license, security numbers
  • Try to create different usernames and passwords for each profile
  • Do not ever give out your personal details to third parties
  • Try putting up with less personal information on the sites as possible
  • Avoid making friends with strangers
  • Use passwords instead of answering security questions
  • Google your identity regularly and use annual reports that come free, which will help monitor your personal data.

Best practices to be abided by to defend against social identity fraud

Making use of all these steps shall make you a smarter user of social networking sites. After all, the last thing you want is to end up being a victim of cybercrimes, isn’t it?

Author Bio: Ryan Moalemi is an author at Noidentitytheft.com, a free public resource delivering expert Identity Force reviews of financial protection services, articles about online safety, comparisons of identity theft protection plans & more.

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