Reducing Your Risk of Identity Theft

Identity Theft and Social Networking Sites

Identity theft has been a growing concern in recent years, and the widespread availability of social networking sites has the potential to make the problem worse. Websites like Myspace and Facebook are very popular especially with teens and young adults, and the amount of information that users post on their profiles can really assist an identity theft criminal.

The Diary of the 21st Century

For many users of social networking sites, their profiles are like constantly updated diaries. It’s not uncommon to find personal details and nightly or weekend plans on social networking profiles. While many people enjoy the online networking and conversation, they can be putting users can be putting themselves at an increased risk of identity theft.

Pieces of a Puzzle

Important pieces of information that an identity theft criminal can use include your maiden name, your mother’s maiden name, the year you graduated, the school you graduated from, your current employer, or even your address or phone number. Any one piece of information might not have much value alone, but when used with other personal details it can help an identity theft criminal to steal your identity.

What Can You Do?

If you’re a member of a social networking site and you don’t want to give up your Myspace of Facebook profile completely, you should definitely consider setting your profile to “private” so that only friends you list can see your profile. This can eliminate crimes such as online stalking and reduce your risk of identity theft.

Alternatives to Social Networking Sites

If you’re concerned about identity theft and want to look for other ways to stay in touch with friends and family, you might consider going back to the old-fashioned alternatives such as phone calls and even letter writing. Honestly, we know dozens of individuals who eventually burnout from being online so frequently, and they look to simplify their lives.

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