Archive for December, 2009

Could Using Social Media Make You The Victim of Identity Theft?

Saturday, December 19th, 2009

Yes, if you’re not careful, it could.

Many of the social media sites ask for all kinds of personal information. If you give it, that information could be just what an identity thief needs to complete the information he or she needs to gain access to your credit cards, and even your bank accounts.

Many people share things like the names of children and pets, birthdays, even phone numbers and addresses. Smart hackers intent on finding ways into your accounts can use that information to make educated guesses about everything from answers to your “secret” questions to the photos you choose on those sites that offer a visual passcode.

If you become “friends” with these crooks and begin a conversation, you’re apt to share even more, giving the identity thief even greater insight into how to access your accounts.

The information you share could also leave you wide open to burglary – if you talk about your family, your work, and things like vacation plans.

If you’ve been creating profiles on line, you should be keeping a close eye on your credit report – just in case you’ve already shared too much. And, maybe you should look at what you’ve shared and remove any information that an identity thief would like to have.

The next way social media can harm you is if you talk too much. Mentioning things like being bored at work, thinking your boss is a moron, or planning to find different employment can land you on the unemployment line in a hurry. So can information about your behavior that an employer might deem “inappropriate.”

Your private life is private – but not if you share it on line. So don’t talk about getting “wasted” on Saturday night or post pictures of yourself dancing on the tables.

If you’ve had financial troubles and are dodging creditors, social media can also trip you up. Debt collectors are now going on line to hunt for people who have moved or changed phone numbers. They might even pose as “friends” on line and strike up an acquaintance while they monitor your activities.

And, although it’s illegal, some of them will use sites like Facebook to embarrass you by posting information about your overdue bills. And – because they will have assumed a false identity, there’s no way to punish them for their illegal actions.

Be careful what you post on line – because every bit of it can be accessed. Even your “private” profile can be accessed by identity thieves who know what they’re doing. So make it a habit not to post anything that you don’t want the world to see. your resource for free credit report offers and the most current information regarding credit news. We also provide free tips and techniques to repair your credit for free. “Remember your credit report and credit score is more important than ever now.”