Like most people, you’re probably active on social media. You have a Facebook account, you tweet and snapchat, and post on Instagram. But did you know these social media platforms can put you at higher risk for identity theft?
Consciously or unconsciously, you provide personal details on social media you probably wouldn’t share elsewhere—your middle name, where you live (with pictures of your home), your friends and their names, your hobbies and other interests, your birthday, etc. If your information isn’t private, criminals can use it to commit fraud. So, be cautious in what you post or tweet, and be sure to use privacy settings where applicable.
Be careful with third-party applications. Most of these apps will ask permission to access your location and other information prior to installation. Be familiar with the app and only allow this information if necessary. Criminals can be on the other end of the app, so be sure it’s legitimate before proceeding.
It is fun to keep your friends updated on where you are and what you’re doing, but it keeps thieves updated as well. Burglars can “case” your site and see when it’s convenient to steal items and personal information from your home while you’re away.
So, how do you protect yourself? Follow these simple tips:
- Think twice about what you’re posting and who can read it.
- Try to avoid giving your Social Security Number or other personal identifying information to a third-party application.
- Consider changing some of your personal information on your social media sites so thieves won’t have your actual information.
- Only accept or invite people you know into your social media circles.
- Review your accounts regularly. This way, you’ll know if something’s off. Also try to review your credit report at least once a year – you can get a free credit report by visiting www.annualcreditreport.com.
If you feel you’ve been a victim of identity theft or fraud in any way, please contact our Security Department immediately at 1-866-212-4711. We’re here to help!
Information is for informational purposes only and is not intended to provide legal or financial advice. The views expressed are those of the author.