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Social Networking And Identity Theft

31-08-2016, 15:33

Social Networking And Identity Theft

Social networking is the most popular way in which people all over the world network with each other, make new friends, interact with their favorite brands and so on. The world of social networking sites is expanding rapidly but as with the real world, you should remember that it too is populated with ‘good’ and ‘bad’ things and people.

One of the dangers of the digital world is identity theft. Read on to find out about a few tips that you can keep in mind to minimize and even eliminate the risk of identity theft while indulging in social networking.

Start with the kids at home

Even children are susceptible to identity theft. The internet is a huge attractionfor children and they are bound to use it in any manner conceivable. Here are a few things you can communicate to your children:

  • The importance of protecting their passwords.

  • The need to limit the information they share.

  • Keeping their profiles private rather than viewable by everybody.

  • Talking to you about what’s going on in their online lives.

In fact, service providers such as Lifelock have child protection plans when it comes to identity protection and it is a good idea for you to check them out as well.

Privacy settings

You might inadvertently share too much information on Facebook or other social media. The one thing that can protect you and your information is your privacy setting. Make your profile private. So only accepted friends can see your information.

You should also:

  • Refrain from accepting invitation or friend requests from people you do not know.

  • Stay away from participating in quizzes which link to your profile or post on your page and so on.

  • Be careful about the apps you use to conduct your social networking activity.

Crime of opportunity

Quite often social networking gives an identity thief the right opportunity to strike. Here is an example – you are on holiday and you post information or a photo on Facebook and say that you are going to be at ‘so and so’ place tomorrow morning.

An identity thief knows that this place is known to be very crowded. So he might simply follow you and steal your handbag or wallet. It is not a farfetched instance at all. On the other end of the spectrum could be someone back home who knows that your home is now vulnerable to burglary.

On the go

Accessing social media on the go might put you at greater risk. It could be something as simple as accessing an open or public network which will have lower levels of security. Again, posting information while on the go puts you at greater risk of being a victim to social engineering.

With the added features of geolocation or geotagging, everybody has a chance to get to know exactly where you are and what you are doing. You might also fall prey to phishing attacks that seemingly look legitimate but in effect will take you to fraudulent websites that ask you to input your password for some consequent action.  

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